As a romance writer, and avid romance reader, I’ve become a bit of a trope connoisseur.
While there are dozens of tropes that pepper romantic fiction and all her wondrous sub-genres (everything from marriages of convenience to secret babies, fake relationships to mistaken identities) I, of course, have my favourites. As I’m sure do you.
A trope, in case you don’t know, is a plot or character device employed by writers to bring together their romantically-hapless heroes and heroines, and deliver that all-important “happily ever after” all romance readers long for… née, demand!
Once maligned as mere cliches, tropes have evolved into so much more, now recognised as one of the foundations upon which great romantic fiction can be built (and publishers and agents love them, too!). Billionaires, rugged cowboys, amnesia (either temporary or permanent), enemies to lovers, jilted brides, famous athletes, office romances, ugly ducklings… they’re all examples of tried-and-true tropes writers turn to, time and time again, in the hope of giving voracious readers those satisfying, heartwarming resolutions.
So, naturally, when it came to writing my first romance novel (well, it wasn’t technically my first… it was my third. But the first two were, well, poo, so I don’t count them… in fact, let’s never speak of them again), I made the very deliberate decision to employ some (ok, all) of my favourite tropes, to make the writing process as painless (ha!) and as enjoyable as possible.
Let’s check them out.
Trope 1: Second chance romance
Last First Kiss, the aforementioned (halfway decent) novel, focuses on my absolute favourite of all the tropes: the second chance romance. I mean, who doesn’t love the thought of two people finally getting their shit together and making something previously crap-tastic work? It makes me feel tingly all over just thinking about it.
Trope 2: Going home
Not only is Last First Kiss a second chance romance, but it also features one of my other favourite tropes: going home, with my hero returning to his small, seaside hometown after many years away, and much water under his well-traveled bridge.
Trope 3: Rockstar
And he’s a rockstar…
Trope 4: Alpha
… a super-hot, very sexy, world-famous alpha rockstar, who’s very used to getting his own way–much to my heroine’s chagrin.
Trope 5: shhhhh… it’s a secret
Oh, and, there’s a secret.
A super HUGE, super-secret secret that my heroine must keep, or risk losing everything she’s ever worked for.
All in all, my first (halfway decent) romance novel employs five–yep, five–tried and true romantic tropes that will [hopefully] keep my readers turning those pages until they reach that sweet, sweet release… err, resolution.
However, I would really love, love, love to cram just one more teeny tiny trope into my novel, to make an even half dozen.
So, that’s where you come in: if I asked you to nominate one last trope to add to Last First Kiss, which would it be? It can be any trope you like–absolutely anything, but preferably your favourite.
Drop your suggestions in the comments and I’ll chose one from the list. Easy!
This ought to be fun.