Discussion Literary Tropes and Your Fics

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Lane_Winree, Aug 10, 2010.

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  1. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Out there in the vast wastelands of the interwebs lies a real gem and a rather useful resource to fic writers like you and me. I speak, of course, of TV Tropes. What is TV Tropes and why is it useful to you, the writer? I'll let them explain.

    To give you an example of some tropes that you may use but may not even realize, here's one trope I incorporate on a regular basis in my long-fics as a comedic tool to balance out angst.

    Buffy Speak

    A rather popular example from BBC sci-fi favorite Doctor Who: Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey...Stuff.

    An example from one of my fics, X-Wing: Genesis of a Rogue

    Buffy Speak is a trope that can be used to add a bit of comic relief to an otherwise tense, angsty scene. It's one of many that can be used in this fashion. Others such as Lampshade Hanging also work very well for this purpose.

    Tropes are a valuable resource to writers that allows you to tap into the reader's mind to find a way to touch them on an emotional level, be it appealing to their sense of humor or to try and play on their heartstrings. Here's the topic(s) up for discussion in this thread:

    What tr
  2. Salacious_Drabb Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2007
    star 3
    As it happened, the page I was reading before I popped over here... was TVTropes. Seriously, I was over there reading, decided to take a break and check out some of my other tabs, came here, and saw a tropes thread sitting at the top.

  3. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    Well, I do believe that I fit the "Anyone can die" with having killed off everyone except Han Solo. No, wait, I did just kill him off in a vignette. Crowning moment of funny, my favorite is a tie between Han using Zsinj's ego as a stalling tactic and the Rogues having a lottery to see who gets to take the call next and when Han needs to entertain his four-month-old daughter and lets her play with Mommy's snow gear from Hoth. Buffyspeak I'm only guilty of when writing Pink 5.

    On the non-listed side of your post,

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ActualPacifist the Actual Pacifist. I have one named Amne.
  4. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    I always seem to write in the military side of the Star Wars universe, so I haven't had much of a chance to create or work with an Actual Pacifist character, though it is something I'd like to try my hand at.

    As far as my own characters, I've got Darvix "Dap" Zorvan, a Chaotic Good pilot and Jedi with a Jerkass Facade
  5. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    LOL, my Actual Pacifist is married to the guy running the Clone Wars. Only she doesn't know that...
  6. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 6
    About time we had a TV Tropes thread. :p I love the place and frequently have Tab Explosion.

    I like a lot of tropes. But there's so many, I keep finding new ones. :p I'm personally fond of (and have used) Complete Monsters, Xanatos Gambits, Thirty Xanatos Pileups, Xanatos Roulette (a lot of the tropes that have "Xanatos" in them, I get a kick out of)... If we're talking about Pacifists, I do like to use Technical Pacifists.

    There's too many tropes! 8-} I can hardly list all of my favourites, or all of the one's that I've used or plan to use in fanfic and original fic. :p

  7. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Oh no, TV Tropes!! I adore that site so much, but I tend to want to just check in for a few minutes and suddenly it's three in the morning 8-} (Idri, where's your comic? :p )

    I think my favorite is Gondor Calls for Aid, because I get a HUGE kick out of the name :D And, I've found a couple really good books by reading through the fantasy literature section (and the quotes at the top of trope pages).
  8. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    LOL, I just got a plot bunny from knowing about Gondor Calls for Aid.
  9. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 6
    See what I mean? Every day you learn a new, lovely trope. I hadn't heard of Gondor Calls For Aid, but now I know it. And I am getting a kick out of it - especially since, coincidentally, I just finished watching ROTK EE two days ago as part of an LOTR EE marathon I felt like doing.

    I also really like Big Damn Heroes. I also get a kick out of the name for this one (after all, the trope namer is awesomesauce :cool: ), but a lot of my favourite characters usually end up being Big Damn Heroes, or at least try to be. :p

    Nat, my usual xkcd comic was linked to in the opening post under the warning sign. :p
  10. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    I missed that :oops:

    I also enjoy Murder, Arson and Jaywalking (I think that's the right order). Especially since I tend to use it :p
  11. DarthSanctimonious Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 18, 2006
    star 3
    I love this one too, especially when coupled with a Big Damn Gunship and preceded by It Has Been An Honor.

    Yes, BSG's Exodus Part II got this one perfect. :p

    My favorite is probably Cavalry Betrayal, although I haven't yet had the chance to work it into anything I myself have written. And I must admit a soft spot for No Mister Bond I Expect You To Dine. :D
  12. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    Oooh Cavalry Betrayal. That's one I've always liked.

    Another one that I irrationally love, want to work into a fic, but have no idea how to is MacGyvering
  13. LaForzaViva Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2008
    star 1
    I'm really glad I found this website! My brother, who is a huge TV nerd, is going to love this, if he hasn't already found it yet.

    Personally, I'm enjoying the Anti-Hero and Anti-Villain concepts, because I find the traditional hero/villain types to be boring and overdone. But by turning a hero or a villain and blurring their morality, one finds more depth and meaning in their choices.

    I think as we all know - it's pretty hard to act like a Jedi or Jesus would in real life - we're all prone to anger and outrage and frustration and when a character is missing that, I find them not genuine to an extreme. That's probably why I always found Qui Gonn to have the most depth of the Jedi.

    In addition, this one: The Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism is a brilliant read
  14. leiamoody Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2005
    star 4
  15. Danaan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2008
    star 4
  16. reagan64 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2006
    star 3
    So far both the serious Starwars fics I've written/am working on play heavily with Grey and Gray Morality. In TIE Fighter: Unknown Regions the plot revolves around a war between the Empire of the Hand and the Ungarov Supremacy. The Ungarov is by no means ruled by the consent of its various subject races and the EOTH, despite its more liberal nature than Palpatine's Empire, is still autocratic.

    In the fic I'm working on now (working title: Hearts of Darkness) the protagonist, a embittered Xucphran Thyferran starts a private military company in the Outer Rim. The planetary governments who form his clientele are frequently repressive corrupt. The rebel groups they hire mercenaries to fight are (usually) worse. (I'm deliberately trying to make paralels with the African governments which hired Executive Outcomes and similar groups to fight their civil wars.)
  17. Katana_Sundancer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2009
    star 4
    Oh boy. TV Tropes - it's a wormhole; you enter one place, and you pop out hours later in another, completely bewildered as to exactly how you got there.

    I first found TV Tropes through a link from a Wedge/Tycho story - hang on, let me check something - yes, as I thought! Next of Kin, by none other than our very own Lane_Winree! *waves* Hello Lane.

    So anyway, I followed this link called 'Heterosexual Life Partners' because I really wanted to know what the hell that was all about... I emerged somewhere in the vicinity of 'Big Damn Heroes', with a whole lotta stuff in between.

    So it's all Lane's fault really :p .

  18. Jade_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    HA HA HA... wait where am I?
  19. Katana_Sundancer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2009
    star 4
    That's it exactly!
  20. whiskers Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    Oh man, this could be very difficult. To tell the truth, the sheer amount of fanfiction and RPG characters that I've had control of could probably fit a lot of the tropes on that site applicable to characters.

    Big Damn Gunship seems to show up a lot, as well as a lot--and I mean a lot--of Continuity Nods.
  21. SithGirl132 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 6, 2005
    star 4
    Ah, TV Tropes. There goes my brain and life. I do have a long list on my LJ of which ones apply to my life.

    Anyone Can Die: all the time. So far, I think the only exceptions are Tarkin, Daala, Thrawn, and Tahiri. We'll see how long this lasts.

    Moral Event Horizon: all the time. I have lots of those. As someone who writes lots of Vergere, LOTF-era stuff, and Sith... it's going to happen. If I had a dollar for every time I've turned someone to the Dark Side, I could easily buy myself several new hardcover books.

    All sorts of alignment-related tropes. No one keeps a steady alignment in my stories, no matter how hard I try. In this category, Grey and Grey Morality.

    I don't know if putting Luke in a dress was a Crowning Moment of Funny or not. I think it would have been funnier if I'd written it better.

    Evil Redhead, Fiery Redhead, Green-Eyed Redhead, many appearance-related tropes. Beauty is Never Tarnished is constantly subverted.

    Evil is Sexy and similar things. I've given up escaping the Dark Side.

    Fanservice is the only reason I write certain pairings and types of stories. And then I end up liking them...

    Action Girl, Big Damn Heroes, Ragtag Bunch of Misfits, and other similar tropes. And all of the Bad*** ones.

    Once I finish this year's NaNoWriMo, I'll have lampshaded most of my tropes. I'm purposefully trying to parody my writing style, though I really do think it's crossed the story event horizon into ridiculousness. Oh well. Must... get... off... TV Tropes, I have to be at work at 9 am tomorrow!
  22. Katana_Sundancer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2009
    star 4
    Ooh, I've read that! It's so funny! Very good story.
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