Writer + Photographer

My Favorite Story Tropes

After seeing my friend Cierra’s post on this topic last year, I knew I eventually had to make one too.

Tropes are conventions used frequently in storytelling of any kind. Some classify them as clichés, which is what I always assumed they were. Because of that, the word has held a negative connotation for me.

Only more recently have I begun to realize tropes can be both guilty pleasure clichés and amazing plot devices that make the story better.

Without further ado, here are some of my favorites.

Love Triangles

Yeah, yeah, I know. This one is pretty iconic, and most people are sick of them I’m sure. I hate to break it to you, but what would YA be without them? They are featured in a lot of my writing, probably because most of my favorite series have them.

Love triangles get made fun of a ton, but they definitely build community and engagement in a fandom and I am always here for that. #TeamJacob #TeamPeeta

I will never NOT cry at this quote.

Drunken Confessions

I read and write YA, which means the main characters are very much underage. But when it comes to my books, I’ve included drunken scenes in both. (Oops.)

There’s just something about the vulnerability it creates, the hilarious moments that can ensue, and, of course, the truths that inevitably come out.

Trapped in a Store Overnight

Okay, this one is probably just me. As a kid, I fantasized about staying overnight in a mall. It probably stemmed from some TV show or a dream I had. I loved it so much that in an early draft of In the Sky, I specifically included a scene where this happens. Now that I think about it, the trope is still a large part of my book as the main characters live in a Target for a while…

Ps. There’s a YA series called No Safety in Numbers where a bunch of people get quarantined inside a mall, but I’m still waiting for the perfect adaptation of this trope. 😉

Pool or Water Scenes

There’s something about romantic shit happening in water.

When I was working on adding scenes to In the Sky, I wrote one where the two main characters break into the local pool. (And got drunk, but that’s part of #2.)

My second book—the one I’m getting ready for querying now—is literally set on a private island. Enough said.

I find myself writing these types of scenes in almost every story… whether I know I’m doing it or not. Do you do this with your favorite tropes? Let me know. ❤

Check out the podcast episode we did on story tropes here!

4 responses to “My Favorite Story Tropes”

  1. Stuart Danker Avatar

    This is a pretty good question, as I tend to write sci-fi, which is also the genre I love consuming the most, but when it comes to my favourite tropes (my #1 is being stuck or isolation with something dangerous on the loose, a la Alien, The Thing, Moon, Life, Event Horizon), I definitely only enjoy but don’t create them.

    Thanks for sharing this piece!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brenna Elmore Avatar

      Yes, I love that trope too! I’m just bad at writing suspense, haha.

      Thanks so much for reading!


  2. The Overthinkist Avatar

    I love the best-friends-become-sweethearts trope, especially when I’m up for a romantic read. Stories like that always make my heart melt. I also like those tropes where a city girl moves to the country and her next door neighbour is very handy with repairing things (and also very handsome).

    Also, #TeamPeeta here. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brenna Elmore Avatar

      Yes, those are such great ones! 😀

      (Ps. The boy with the bread forever)

      Liked by 1 person

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