Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Playing with the Tropes

Tropes, archetypes, and other narrative conventions exist for a reason—they give us readers and viewers a familiar framework. I have nothing against them, but when a story follows them to the dot, it becomes stale and predictable. As a writer I love bending the formula. It's fun.

Take Jem from Secrets and Ink for example—he has a touch of TSTL (Too Stupid To Live).  He does things that land him in tight spots, and he really doesn't have to because trouble has a way of finding him without help. At one point of the story Jem's romantic interest, Detective Nick Davies takes Jem to his (Nick's) home for safekeeping. Before leaving for work Nick tells Jem not to open the door for anyone.

Of course, later on someone knocks on said door. Jem peaks through the window and sees a man in blue of some sorts. Maybe the cable guy, or someone from the utility company. In nine stories out of ten Jem would open the door and bad things would happen. But he doesn't because he'd seen the slasher movies and knows opening the door when you'd been told not to, will lead to unpleasantness. Jem's not that TSTL.


Secrets and Ink is now live and available in ebook stores near you.


  1. Moments like that always remind me of a 'Torchwood' episode. A girl in a closed shop OPENS the doors to let the creepy people outside know that they're CLOSED!

    *head desk* I LOVE Torchwood... but, really... opening doors to creepy people?? What was she thinking? (What were the writers thinking?)

    1. "What were the writers thinking?" I asked myself a lot. The writing of that show was so uneven. There were some brilliant bits there but also mind-numbingly bad ones too. I see the whole series as a mostly missed opportunity. Of course, all the unevennes was fertile ground for fanfic writers. ;)

    2. LOL it was. I've read a lot in that fandom.

      and I'm still a Ianto girl, all the way ;)