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 TROPES, what are yours
bird
 Posted: Sep 15 2014, 10:55 PM
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number one dad
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so i can't be the only one who opens up an old piece of writing or something and goes "wow that is totally way too familiar" or finds themselves gravitating towards certain things again and again and again. so i'm curious: what are some tropes in your writing? do you consciously try to avoid them? how have they changed over time?

this doesn't have to just be limited to character tropes, though of course most people here probably have some archetypes that they naturally enjoy writing.

here are some of mine, off the top of my head:
  • loving descriptions of scenery, especially with forests or desolate stuff
  • personification of landscapes
  • horrible things happen in beautiful places
  • urban environments as a character/urban environments as oppressive, bland, and uncomfortable
  • sticky, humid summers, especially coupled with really violent things happening. i don't seem to write winter very much
  • night time and really detailed descriptions of lighting
  • very vague descriptions of faces or people; end up describing setting or random physical tics instead i actually am kind of face-blind though so maybe that's why
  • how do i describe clothes
  • cars and monotonous stretches of driving (i don't even fucking drive so this is funny)
  • clever steely dark-haired women
  • emotionally weak and disillusioned men
  • characters with great athleticism or other physical, hands-on skills
past tropes since my embarrassing writing from 3+ years ago still lingers on this corner of the internet:
  • masculinity is toxic and will destroy your life
  • disillusionment, mob mentality, violence and alienation
  • no really loads of alienation
  • evil can be pretty banal and write you a paycheck/you can be okay with a lot of things if it's just your job
  • social anxiety
  • that one time i read a shitton of chandler and was in love with him (tbf i still like his writing style but i'm over the macho anti-heroes and casual misogyny)
  • cars and guns, guns and cars
  • nothing is fun at all ever
what about you?
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abbey
 Posted: Sep 16 2014, 03:43 AM
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i write the same things over and over again and don't avoid them until i get bored of them, which hasn't happened for... most of them. often i'll just take a break and write something new, then return to hallowed ground.

i do all of the mentioned:
  • loving descriptions of scenery and native wildlife
  • personification of landscapes
  • summer winter all the time. ABYK has been frozen in a permawinter for god knows how long, because i love winter and i struggle with keeping track of time, even with a dedicated timeline. even the springtime was muddy and gross.
plus:
  • the metaphor was like a simile
  • everyone is akin to one or more animals (cats, dogs, wolves, birds, snakes, goats, butterflies, spiders)
  • children are neglected, abused or otherwise let down by the adults in their lives
  • kindness is its own reward
  • kind people are 'simpler'
  • intelligence leads to cruelty and/or alienation
  • a character dies and is developed post-mortem with details and backstory
  • fear of abandonment
  • everyone can love, no matter how horrible they are
  • why people dress the way they do; clothes as armour, with more pieces equalling more compartmentalisation and battening the hatches
  • tattoos mean something
  • monsters (literally) with hearts of gold
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bird
 Posted: Sep 16 2014, 08:01 AM
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i'm glad i'm not the only one who writes perma-seasons! i do want to write more winter scenes now, although knowing me i'll probably spend ten fucking paragraphs describing snow.

QUOTE
the metaphor was like a simile


we are all guilty.

(i like all your tropes)
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abbey
 Posted: Sep 20 2014, 10:33 PM
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what tropes do you DISLIKE or AVOID?
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XANDER
 Posted: Sep 21 2014, 12:27 AM
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  • a surprise genius
  • a not-so-surprise genius
  • attractive murderer
  • brace yourself for the tears (you did not brace hard enough)
  • ugly = stupid
  • now demanding demonstrations of love
  • sex will solve all the problems
  • all my points are in charisma
  • the only scars i have are sexy scars

i am not sure i avoid any particular trope because it is a trope; there is just some stuff that i find boring to write, e.g.
  • i may not be hot but i have a heart of gold

no
not in my fantasy roleplay

--------------------
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abbey
 Posted: Oct 3 2014, 10:10 PM
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QUOTE
the only scars i have are sexy scars

why do you hate cripples and the ugly
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bird
 Posted: Oct 3 2014, 10:22 PM
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number one dad
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i actually thought xander's list was the list of tropes she hated and i went

????


???????


what


now i'm just going to write a bunch of ugly people with horrible scars into both of our threads you realize that right
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XANDER
 Posted: Oct 4 2014, 12:31 AM
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tiefling bard
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QUOTE (abbey @ Oct 3 2014, 10:10 PM)
QUOTE
the only scars i have are sexy scars

why do you hate cripples and the ugly

using the same logic i could ask
why do you hate furries
why are your roleplays not more inclusive of more anthropomorphic wolves


QUOTE (bird @ Oct 3 2014, 10:22 PM)
now i'm just going to write a bunch of ugly people with horrible scars into both of our threads you realize that right

as long as they are not the OTP i am negotiable
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samth
 Posted: Oct 6 2014, 06:40 AM
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I like to make pretty characters - and then horribly batter their faces.
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abbey
 Posted: Oct 7 2014, 06:30 AM
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QUOTE (samth @ Oct 6 2014, 09:40 PM)
I like to make pretty characters - and then horribly batter their faces.

user posted image

go on
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alyeska
 Posted: Jun 18 2015, 02:16 PM
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Every time I read this thread, it makes me laugh. I'm guilty of plenty of these ^.^; I've actually been really reading my writing lately though in what I'm hoping is not a vain attempt at improving myself

Here's what I've found;
  • it is always raining or about to rain
  • endless nights
  • entire paragraphs dedicated to the sky, the weather, and landscapes (especially when it's storming or the seasons are changing)
  • describing storms with human emotions
  • describing humans with storms and natural disasters
  • and everything takes place near an ocean

    also,
  • how many cigarettes a person smokes directly correlates with how evil they are
  • old white men in suits are the epitome of evil
  • all the redheads
  • addiction as a form of escapism
  • caring about others will only get them killed
  • all your friends are hiding something
  • even children can be manipulative or cruel
  • pretty people with ugly scars
  • humans are monsters in their own ways
  • immortality comes at a price
  • zombies can have feelings, too
  • attractive women will eat you (literally)
  • the dogs never die

    and finally,
  • where are the heterosexuals ???
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totally lame idiot
 Posted: Jun 18 2015, 02:51 PM
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i am a terrible human being who is an idiot 99% of the time i am guilty of:
  • i don't write redheads bc i have red hair and i can't do it
  • my characters are usually short
  • and super gay
  • i only write gay men i mean come on
  • freckles are everywhere
  • they are either drunks or dont like alcohol
  • they sigh way too much
  • and all of them talk w/ their hands
  • i don't describe settings like fuck that
  • i do describe emotions a lot like hi heres ten pages of emotions
  • they usually work with their hands on something like a mechanic or something
  • snarky idiots everywhere
  • do you ever forget about people owning pets???? sorry dog ur fired

ps the cute ones are usually the evil ones dont trust NO ONE
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Poette
 Posted: Jun 18 2015, 10:10 PM
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• (Rhetorical?) Questions
• Dashes and Interrupted Thoughts
• The Body is An Atlas: mapping and journeying over your character’s landmarks on some exquisite voyage through the valleys and hills of their terrain srsly I love this sort of shit (I should be shot. I will not stop. It’s not that obnoxious but there’s usually a line or two in every rp)
• Philosophical musings all.the.damn.time
• Poetic imagery: what would I do without you?
• I rarely have an image of the character in my head—the way they move is more important than an exact likeness.
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novemberist
 Posted: Jun 19 2015, 01:06 AM
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I try not to.do the same stuff all the time but a lot of my stories have:

At least one existentialist
At least one discussion about Alan Watts
2/3 into the story, main characters like: oh I just noticed I'm actually human garbage, whoops
A sexy brooding mastermind.
It's always raining.
Freakishly tall warrior woman creatively threatening everyone she comes across.
"What," he queried, "the fuck are you doing?"
Quirky single moms
You and I are actually very much alike.
Bullying/humiliation/intimidation/mindfucking
Power of friendship is not actually thaaat important
Any couples in the story are already together in the beginning, and they handle relationship problems like mature adults.
Anyone that mentions fate or destiny is probably insane or evil.
Some other ones.

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bird
 Posted: Aug 3 2015, 08:38 PM
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after talking with lar about the other character thread i did a dumb thing and made graphs because damn it, i went to university for five years to study science and all i got was this dumb piece of paper

so here's some scatter plots of some of my characters; i generally create new characters for everything i ever write so these are just the ones that are relatively memorable.

but based on this limited sample size of i can draw the following shaky conclusions about my writing:
  • men are bimodal -- either they're adventurous and happy young men or older and more cautious/stodgy
  • women are generally very adventurous regardless of age
  • the one outlier on the man trend in the second graph is a drug addict
also
  • the more communicative men are, the less likely they are to be violent
  • the less communicative men are, the more violent they are
  • women are generally less violent and more communicative as a whole
nothing that revelatory i guess but i like making graphs
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