The romance genre gets an interesting rap. I think what has drawn me into writing romance fiction is growing up watching Disney movies and tv shows where you just want that happily ever after, and even in my personal life I wanted that for myself. I had a lot of crushes growing up, so I have these weird dreams that will make it’s way into my mind about the weirdest things (resurfacing old crushes, friends turned to lovers, etc.) that create ideas for my next novel. But, the romance genre is so saturated with tropes that people love to write and read about, I thought I would rant about my thoughts on them as a fellow romance writer. (Note: as with anything, these are purely my opinions and opinions are not facts. I’m not trying to bash writers who have written about this, it’s simply how I feel. Everyone is allowed to feel, right?) These are also taken from the blog post: All the Kissing’s Favorite Romance Tropes.
- Friends to Lovers: Funny story…I recently watched the Netflix trailer for the new movie, “To All the Boys, P.S. I Still Love You” and had the idea to create a story of reuniting best friends who resurface romantic feelings. While it seems cliche, my thoughts are if you’re able to make it seem believable that friends who were super close once upon a time can feel a certain way about one another, then I think it’s a trope that can make a good story. I mean come on, you’re best friends with someone because you like being around them, of course it’s possible you can feel a certain way.
- Soul Mate/Fate: Fate is a very interesting topic. I think that when writers tell a story of “finding a soulmate”, there’s something fun about how fate brings two people together, but what makes me feel…apprehensive about loving this trope is that it just doesn’t seem realistic. At least with the best of friends thing, you already hold some history with each other that while it could be out of the ordinary, it can also have some realism to it. Soulmates/fate to me just leans a little too much fantastical that when I read it, I think to myself…”What are the odds? Oh yea, they’re not high.”
- Second Chance at Love: This one I have no issues with. When I think of these, I think of someone who’s widowed or maybe a couple who divorced and find each other again. I think every chance you get to live, you shouldn’t spend it moping about a break up and yes, you can grieve for a little while, but eventually your lover would want you to be happy. And I think the thoughts that race through someone’s mind to get themselves up to have another chance at love can be something worth writing and reading.
- Secret Romance: Okay, I’m sorry, if there’s one trope on this list I absolutely cannot stand (again, opinions are not facts) is a secret romance. Like, guess what? Someone is going to find out about it. I will state my case though, there are situations in which I understand you can’t be together, but still! I think at the end of the day, you can’t run from confessing your romance for long and secrets don’t become secrets. End of soapbox. Romeo and Juliet is so 1600’s.
- First Love: I think this one is cute. I mean, you never forget your first love, right? I don’t have too much to talk about this one, I guess the way that I’m thinking about it is falling in love for the first time and experiencing falling in love rather than falling in love again with your first love – because at least for me, my first “love” was from when I was a young teenager and I think I’ve changed what I’m looking for in a partner. Guess it could still be cute rediscovering that as well.
- Strong Hero/Heroine: I’m all for the strong heroine. (And hero too, but come on, girl power am I right?) Not much to say about this one, but don’t make your characters cowards! Show that women can be leaders, pick their own battles, etc.
- Reunited Lovers: I’m sure this one also gets slack for being cliche, but I actually like this one a lot! I think there’s just something sweet about people who had feelings for each other, go their separate ways and then (okay, I guess I like when fate comes into play) and somehow see each other again (at a reunion, the girl moves back to her hometown, etc.)
- Love Triangle: I might be like a unique case when it comes to this one, but I just think when it comes to love triangles, I feel so bad if someone had to choose between one or the other, because clearly both deserve the chance to have a shot at love, because one will be dumped for the other. Of course, maybe in the future said dumped may find someone that will love them but…man, like doesn’t that just hurt if you did nothing wrong and you don’t get chosen at the end?
- Sexy Billionaire/Millionaire: Not really planning to write about “sexy” stories, but not going to lie, sexy millionaire stories are secretly fun to read (I wasn’t the biggest Fifty Shades fan) but who doesn’t want to dream of having someone who has a lot of money? Could be a fun tie of fate/different paths crossing/that kind of thing.
- Sassy Heroine: Kind of similar to number six, I think the sassy heroine is funny and adds a comedic bit to the story, not much else to say. Make your female characters have funny bits! Easy as that.
And…there you go! My take on the top ten romance tropes in writing. What’s your favorite trope? I think mine is childhood friends turned lovers! I don’t know why, maybe its seeing life progress and thinking two childhood friends can somehow reunite and get together! Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment!