A fellow author pointed me towards Chuck Wendig’s post about tired tropes, which, while interesting, was kind of pointless for me.
Because here is what fandom, in the form of fanfic, has taught me: do not fear the tropes!
Wendig asks “what tropes are you tired of? What are too toxic?” and that’s a fair question in regards to asking someone’s opinion, I suppose. It’s an interesting discussion. People are putting a lot of thought into the comments they leave.
But as a writer, I find that it has no bearing at all on the subject of writing.
For instance, there are tropes I really don’t even like too much, such as m-preg…but I’ll still read a story with that trope, if the writing and the pairing and the set up appeal to me.
“Brooding hero” trope? So done, right? Hello, Stargate Atlantis (SGA): Lt. Col. John Sheppard, your brooding god-man. He broods. A lot. All the time. IN. EVERY. SINGLE. STORY. (He’s so pretty when he broods!) Am I sick of it? Yeah, a little bit. Am I still reading SGA fanfic? Yep I sure am.
“Dying to save the world” trope? Please to be letting me introduce you to Supernatural — the show, and the fanfic!
Fans hold “trope bingo” fic challenges, and readers eat them up. Many fanfic writers purposely mine some tropes just because they can. Amnesia!fic? Arranged marriage? Pretend marriage? Kid!fic? Well, basically, name a trope and I’ll show you the AO3 tag for that trope with thousands of stories listed.
Fandom has taught me not to be scared of tropes. It’s taught me that as over-done as a trope might be, people will still read it and love it if you write it well enough to engage readers in the story. Individual readers have tropes that they won’t read or find toxic or are tired of (I won’t read death!fic; some people won’t read sex!pollen, etc.) but in general, you will never ever write a trope that a group of people, somewhere, don’t love passionately.
So, to conclude: Yes, amnesia!fic is my great weakness. Please write me more of that, everyone. Thank you. <3