FINDING PLOT IDEAS… TROPES
Writing a romance can be difficult and ideas for characters and a romantic plot don’t always spring to mind. So, what can an author do when one book is finished and another is about to begin but ideas are in short supply?
If I’m really stuck and the spontaneous “got to write this” inspiration well is dry, I’ve been known to pin TROPES along with ARCHETYPES on a board and fire off the darts. This gets me started and gives me something to work with.
Once I’ve got, eg. FRIENDS TO LOVERS and THE REBEL or the EXPLORER, etc., I work through the STASIS, TRIGGER, QUEST, etc. until a RESOLUTION is found. Using this method, in no time at all, there’s a rough outline of a synopsis that I can work with. And if the characters happen to take me on a different journey to the one I’ve plotted and planned … I go with it!
So, what TROPES are on offer? The most common tropes used in romance are:
Friends to Lovers
It might be they work together professionally, or they’ve know one another for years and were the typical boy and girl next door – only now attraction kicks in and things are getting hot. As it says on the tin, their relationships changes from friends to lovers.
Two people are forced into a situation and there’s no getting away from each other. It might be they have to pretend to the outside world that they are a couple, or they could be confined in a location, and a romance evolves between them
The couple are usually destined to be together although more often than not, during the story, they must be driven apart before they can be reunited.
Something or someone, family, religion, beliefs, etc. are keeping the two lovers apart. But their love for one another is so strong, that no matter what their problems are, they find a way to be together.
Usually, the couple pretends to be lovers in love. They could be together in a marriage of convenience or they could fake being together to give society a false impression of who they really are. Whatever the reason and whatever the situation, the couple eventually find true love with one another.
A billionaire who has everything, a lavish jet-set lifestyle, answerable to one, and can do what he/she likes whenever he/she likes, is mistaken for an ‘ordinary’ person. Usually, the end result is that the billionaire is loved for their personal qualities/goodness, and not for their possessions.
Three characters and only two will find true love. It’s an emotional struggle to choose who to love – the handsome inconsiderate CEO or the hard-working, caring nerdy-looking executive – the beauty queen or the wallflower. You’re rooting for all three characters, but someone has to lose.
Enemies to Lovers
They can’t stand one another, but somehow they find themselves in a situation where their hate and dislike for one another turn to respect and love.
These are just a few of the most popular TROPES. There are many more, and I hope you find a combination that inspires you…