The Story Corner » Discussions

On Trope Subversion

  • February 22, 2017
    I've been tinkering about with several writing ideas lately, because my brain is a never-ending ADHD machine that churns out seemingly good ideas when I'm least able to write them down, and one thing that keeps bouncing back to me is the idea of straight up killing the narrative's Chosen One early in the story, after establishing him/her as the up and coming savior and really giving the reader chances to grow attached.

    Tropes, as a rule, are seldom something I think about one way or the other, right up until I hit one that I either have seen a lot of lately (e.g., I have a much younger cousin who has a whole book collection of Katniss type teenage peasant girls in dystopian futures rising up against an oppressive oligarchy) or come across one that bothers me for some reason (e.g., sexual abuse as shorthand for character development). Subverting or toying about with them can be fun, but is there a limit? Is there a point at which reversing every common trope becomes just a way of making one's writing obnoxious?

    How would you toy with tropes in your writing?
  • February 22, 2017

    I play with the "young hero" trope and make my hero old. I just wrote a lot, so nothing else really comes to mind, but I'll think of more later. Neat topic though. I almost killed the hero at the end of Part 1. 

  • Member
    March 4, 2017

    Haha, my hero is kind of Katniss like, closer to Arya Stark. One way I play with the Chosen One (TLD) Trope is I made him a side charater, the MC is more like a link connecting greater forces together. The MC only learns what he's doing from a few breif encounters and news, but the backlash of the Chosen's actions drive the source of a lot of the MC's plots.

    I did struggle awhile with whether I should go through with the orphaned hero trope, but in the end decided in the end that despite being another common one, it still told the story the best.

    I think when you start reversing a trope purely for irony's sake and it doesn't strengthen the story is the limit.

    An idea I thought would be fun to play with is that instead of following a character, follow a plot line, showing how it took many generations and attempts to reach whatever the climax is, which would tie in well with your idea for killing the Chosen One off.