Welcome to day 17 of #BookBlogWriMo! I can’t believe we’re so far in! Today we’re talking about tropes, because I like them too much to call them cliches. 😛
So, not every book can be original. There are only so many ways a hero and heroine can meet. Only so many types of obstacles they can encounter. Only so many relationship dynamics.
When I read a book, it’s not about a completely original plot. What I look for is how well a popular scenario is executed. A book can use proven tropes and still read as original. It won’t remind you too much of some other book, or feel overdone or cliche.
When used correctly, tropes make a book better, not cliche. These are my favorites for romance books:
Friends Becoming More
I LOVE reading “friends first” relationships. I’ve always felt that the most successful relationships feel like having a best friend that you can cuddle and do dirty stuff with. When I first met my boyfriend, it was your typical college non-relationship, but through the kisses he and his friends quickly melded into my own friend group, and it just escalated from there 🙂 . Had that not happened, who knows where we would be now, six years later?
“Friends first” plots always have good conflict, too. There’s usually a ton of fear and uncertainty, which is very interesting when done well. You see the characters have to come to terms with their feelings and realize everything will change no matter which way the relationship goes.
I blame Beautiful Bastard. I was never such a sucker for a conference room steam scene until that book. Hot dayum, though. There’s nothing specific or detailed about this kind of trope that I love. I can’t really pinpoint it, I just know that I usually enjoy it.
Friends with Benefits/Just Hooking Up (JK!)
I love books where the hero and heroine think they’re just friends with benefits because it. never. works. I’ll read a book blurb that goes something like, “They’ll just hook up,” or “Once I sleep with him, he’ll be out of my system,” and let out an evil laugh. That’s what you think, silly heroine.
In general, I don’t think friends with benefits relationships work when you put thought and planning into them. If it requires that much structure, there’s a reason, and it’s usually that it’s not really that simple. From my (limited) experience and from talking to friends, the only FWB relationships where everyone gets out unscathed is when you just fall into it without much though, and fall out of it the same way.
Menage (with Two Guys, Of Course)
I don’t want to think too much about what this might mean for me, so I’m just going to move on…
The Hot Nerd
As a nerdish girls, who is obsessed with her own nerdy, lanky accountant boy, I need to know that other people can find nerds hot. I also love reading about guys that look like a cool stud but secretly love things like Doctor Who, classic sitcoms, history, math, etc. My boyfriend is not that kind of nerd, so consider it an escape. 😛
Case in point: my numero uno book boyfriend is Will Sumner. Oh my God. While he isn’t revealed as a Whovian, he does make a comment about liking Hannah’s Firefly t-shirt, so he’s a Whedonite. That’s almost as good. And he has science-related tattoos. TATTOOS about SCIENCE. *faints*