I—along with a lot of other people if social media is to be believed—are taking comfort these days in re-reading and re-watching favourite books and movies. The world is in such flux that the unknown is even scarier than usual, and we are seeking out stories that we know to avoid even more uncertainty.
But even when I am not re-reading beloved favourites, I often choose books where the plot is familiar. In publishing, we use the word trope to describe well-known themes.
This week on the Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop, I asked my fellow members:
What is your favourite romance trope to read and/or write? Friends to Lovers? Marriage of convenience? Second chances?
As a reader, I enjoy historical romance very much. Marriage of convenience is probably my favourite trope, and it works well for stories set in the 1800’s or earlier, when women were expected to marry. But it also speaks to my favourite trope for contemporary romance—friends to lovers. In historical marriage of convenience stories, the heroine and hero must navigate from being strangers to being in a loving committed relationship. Somewhere in the middle is friendship. In contemporary stories, coming up with a credible marriage of convenience plot is almost impossible, but friends to lovers is very common and enjoyable.
As a writer, I’m not comfortable with the insta-love scenario. I prefer what might be called a slow burn, where the characters only come to realize they love each other after they have actually gotten to know each other. While friends to lovers falls into this category, I’m a big fan of writing second chance romances. This doesn’t only mean the main characters were once married, or even dated, before. It means that they are taking a second chance on love—either with someone they know, or a new person in their life.
There are many, many tropes in romance—too many to list. But if you study the stories you like best, you might find a certain theme that runs through them. I’d love to hear what your favourite trope is. Be sure to comment below! Then, hop over to Clair Brett and see what she prefers to read and write.