All The Tropes:Be Creative
It's always important to Be Creative when editing the wiki; readers should be entertained by what's going on here as much as in their original works.
The wiki is a good place for literary criticism, but it's also a good place to try out new things. We study creative works, and we should bring that same creativity to writing new trope pages. We should be expanding our own writing skills, both on and off-wiki.
Everything doesn't have to be about "just the facts, ma'am" -- Troping is Fun! Have fun with your edits. When you edit the wiki, try to be entertaining -- compelling writing is always welcome. Subpages like WMG are great for generating story ideas.
The flip side of creation is destruction. Cutting is one of the more difficult aspects of writing, but sometimes we have to " murder our darlings" -- get rid of those beloved ideas to allow the site to grow. It may be better to say something in one paragraph instead of four. The goal isn't just compelling writing -- it's clear, concise, and compelling writing.
The Wiki is for Storytellers
Besides fans, All The Tropes is a resource for storytellers. Tropes are common patterns used in creative writing, and by documenting them, we enable writers to use them more effectively. A major goal of all of our Literary Criticism is to share this back with the community of writers, so that they can learn from it and produce better stories.
It's worth noting here that tropes are not "building blocks" of stories; a story consisting only of tropes is not much of a story at all. Rather tropes are useful devices to achieve a dramatic end, and communicate that to your audience efficiently. They are ways to increase characterization, expand the setting, and drive the plot forward, and work towards a theme. But the heart of the story has to come from the writer. Tropes added to a bad story make it trite and formulaic, but tropes added to a good story, when used properly, make it shine.
Many of our writing-centric resources are located at the Mechanics of Writing page, which is also linked to on the site sidebar and the Main Page.
This page is part of the The Troper's Code, and a core policy of the site.