Writers' Tool Box
Tropes are elements within a story to help convey its purpose. A side effect to this wiki is that Tropes Will Ruin Your Life. As your knowledge and understanding of the elements of storytelling increases, you become more critical of what you encounter. The flip side is that with this knowledge you are more capable of utilizing tropes in your own work. Being Genre Savvy about your own writing will only improve upon the work. Here is a list of tropes and concepts to help you.
As this is a wiki, every link will lead you to another location. This is merely a good place to get started. The tropes listed here are good examples, but if you are looking for something more specific, look at the Main Tropes Index or use the search feature.
Remember, Tropes Are Not Bad. Use them, love them, abuse them, they love it all the same.
Meta Concepts (The relationship between trope and audience)
- Did Not Do the Research versus Shown Their Work
- Emotional Torque
- Fridge Logic
- MST3K Mantra and Bellisario's Maxim (There is a difference, and it's important to know)
- Perceived Value
- Willing Suspension of Disbelief
- Straight usage- The trope is used in a straightforward manner, with variations here and there. Not bad in and of itself; it is how it is used that dictates its quality.
- Subverted- The trope is addressed, then avoided. Subverted tropes can sometimes be their own trope if common enough.
- Averted- The trope appears in the mind of the audience, but is not directly used by the story.
- Deconstruction- When subversion isn't just addressing and avoiding the trope, it points out flaws and logical problems with its use.
- Reconstruction- Restoring the trope and return it to being used straight once again by fixing the exposed flaws of deconstruction.
Twist And Turns
- Twist Ending
- Character Development
- Deus Ex Machina
- Law of Conservation of Detail
- Red Herring
- Xanatos Gambit
- I Am Your Father
- I Am Who?
- Not So Different
- Movie Twist List
- Five-Man Band
- Villain Protagonist
- Five-Bad Band
- The Psycho Rangers
- Hero Antagonist
Fanfic and Fandoms
- Mary Sue
- Pragmatic Adaptation
- Serious Business
- Unpleasable Fanbase
Putting It All Together: So You Want To...
- ...So You Want To/Write a Fanfic
- ...So You Want To/Write a Story
- ...So You Want To/See the Index
- ...So You Want To/See a Template