Writers' Tool Box

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

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    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)

    Using Tropes

    • 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.
      • Lampshaded- The trope is mentioned (often humorously) by the characters, but still used.
      • Inverted- If (A) leads to (B) when used straight, then inverting a trope is when (B) leads to (A), or (A) leads to (!B).
    • 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.

    Script Speak

    Narrative Tropes

    Plot Foundations

    Twist And Turns

    Internal Consistency

    Ending Tropes

    Protagonist Tropes

    Antagonist Tropes


    Fanfic and Fandoms

    Putting It All Together: So You Want To...