Add These Things Into Stories // Maybe Six New Tropes?

I have very mixed feelings about tropes. Sometimes I like them, or even enjoy them. Other times I HATE them with an undying passion. Perhaps it’s the style of trope?
Anyway, I’m ready for some new tropes. Throw out love triangles, chosen one tropes, and rich suburban kids. Because I have a whole bunch of new trope ideas!
Ok, maybe they’re not that great? We’ll see. Maybe my ideas are terrible, too? And they’ve probably already been in some books, I just haven’t read them yet! So, be sure to comment any books you’ve seen with these kind of tropes.
Also, after writing this I realized this list may slightly be based on my own life? Is that a bad thing? 
six new tropes

1. Characters with crushes who end up single and happy?

Not everyone has crushes. But if you have a crush, you know it’s the WORST. Your crush takes over your mind.
It’s a disease. Ok, maybe not that bad. But 99.99% of the time the crush doesn’t work. They don’t like you back. The crush just doesn’t go anywhere. All these wasted feelings and I’m trying to tell myself it’s not worth crying over.
Does an unfulfilled crush ruin your life? Nope. I’m happy even after 3 failed crushes. Really, I am. 🙂
So, I’d LOVE to see this in books. Unrequited crushes that don’t ruin a characters life. In fact, they end the book without ever being in a relationship and they’re HAPPY.
(Ok, maybe this is just me & my very single life)

2. No idea how to be anti-social.

So, why is it book characters are always so introverted about their problems? Like if a demon cursed me, I’d practically be bragging about that? Like, everyone help me out here. Because I have a big problem.
Instead all these characters are hiding their problems. And they’re just absolute jerks about it.
I’m so done with this trope.
Also, I have no idea how to hide my problems? I run around screaming for help. So, I don’t get characters who grin and bear it with a load of jerkish sarcasm.
Ok, I try to hide my problems. Really, I do. I promise not to talk about it. And .005 seconds later I’m spilling everything. 
So, I’d love to see characters like me. Who can’t just handle life on their own. And have no idea how to keep their problems secret.

3. How to do this grades & work thing?

MY LIFE. Basically, ok, all these tropes are my life right now. Maybe other people can relate to me, too?

Because I never see this in books? The stress of paying for school & the cell phone bill & the grades. Also, money left over for doing homework at Starbucks. 
Like the time I completely forgot the French composition? And my grade fell to a 65%?
^Me, at my grades^
Ok, that was stressful. Life and death terror.
But book characters never go through this? Oh, I suppose they do have other problems. Yes, the evil villain is hunting them down. Demons threatening their life. Dead parents, friend dying, love triangles galore.
But literally none of that compares to getting bad grades. My life is over. I’ll never get into grad school. And how am I supposed to go to work when I have 200 hours of homework to get done? 

4. Delayed Sarcasm Disorder

You know when something says something super, duper sarcastic. And you laugh and can’t think of anything to reply? But then 2 hours later the funniest reply suddenly hits you. But of course, you can’t use your sarcastic delayed wit now.
^Congrats to me for never being funny at the right time^
How are characters in books always so sarcastic and funny? I’d love to see some characters with delayed reactive sarcasm. Yep, I just made that medical condition up. But I definitely have this condition.
Can my book characters please struggle with being funny too?

5. Ignoring (RUNNING from) all the Jocks & Sports

Truthfully, I never went to a school game until I started working webcasts. Then I had to go to ALL the games because I was paid. Being paid to film sports is not a bad gig.
And I actually loved in Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda where Simon and his gang made a point to boycott all the homecoming games? because that’s me. Sports can be super boring. And not every student loves the school games?
Can we see more of this?
Besides not really enjoying sports, I’d love to see more characters who can’t stand jocks? Instead of dating all the tough guys, they kind of ignore them. Because maybe they’re also 5 foot 1, and a 6 foot football player is SCARY. Also, I don’t won’t to have to grab a step stool to look into someones eyes.
(Maybe we should just have realistic short characters who run away from tall dudes)
(I should have just admitted this post is about  me trying to find me more relatable characters, haha! Sorry, guess it’s a little late for that?)

6. What in the World to do with Money?

I never knew budgeting your money was so hard? Until I picked up my first credit card. Now I’m having to learn all about budgets and credit reports and all that boring stuff. But this boring stuff really, really matters?
So maybe most YA readers don’t need examples of stellar spending habits? But I would love to see characters working through budgeting. Like, yes, I’d love to go to Starbucks. But I can’t spend another $5 on coffee this month.
^So, maybe this is how I see YA characters spending money?^
It seems like YA characters have unlimited resources. And I’m super confused because the only kids I know in real life with lots of money can be jerks? (I’m trying to be polite and honest at the same time, haha!)
Anyway, I remember working one summer and spending all of my money on two things. A new bike and Sonic drinks. Every day I got a happy hour sonic drink. Strawberry limeade at half price = happiness. 
But guess what? I didn’t have any money at the end of the summer? That was probably not too hard to guess. But I never saw that coming. And being bankrupt was a bummer. Cause I had actually worked alot!
I mean, I did have a new bike and lots of sonic receipts. Just no money for college.
All that to say, I’d love to read YA characters learning how to spend and save money.
So this post is apparently a mix of salty annoyance and me begging for really, really realistic characters. 
^Actual footage of me begging^
Now, not all YA books are completely guilty of being very unrealistic. Some of my recent reads have been super realistic.
A few of my favorite more realistic YA books. 
  • Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda
  • Fangirl
  • Eliza and Her Monsters
  • The Hate U Give

True story – I almost put the Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue on this list. But then duh, I realized, that’s historical fiction. So it really doesn’t count. Even if the characters were super relatable.

Also, another point. This post is almost all about contemporary tropes? Except for the delayed sarcasm & crushes. Because non-existence humor and puppy love exist in every genre.

Maybe I’ll write another 1,000 word post about fantasy tropes I want to shake up. No more chosen ones!!! No more secret parents!!! And absolutely no more love triangles!!!

But like I said, another time. Because if I write about them now, what will I have to talk about next time?

lets chat

Do you get tired of tropes?
Do you have favorite tropes in contemporaries or fantasy books?  
Any characters you really relate to? 
How do you balance work, school and crushes? Are you very sarcastic? Or a big fan of sports? 
What character struggles do you want to see in books? 

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12 Comments

  1. February 10, 2018 / 11:20 am

    YES, I would love to see all of these characters!! This post rocks.
    Some of my favorite tropes are hate to love relationships, mastermind/awesome criminals, and magic schools.
    Haha, I would say I’m on the sarcastic spectrum but the very lower end.
    I’m not that big a fan of sports, but going to sports games and watching friends is pretty fun!

    • Elizabeth Hunter
      Author
      February 11, 2018 / 7:56 pm

      I love cheering for my friends but just watching sports? Kind of dull. Magic schools are so fun, but then you run into Hogwarts look alike trouble. So hard to be original!

  2. Elise
    February 10, 2018 / 6:02 pm

    I totally agree with the first thing! I can’t count how many times a character has had a crush and I think ‘hey this would actually be kinda original if they didn’t end up together in the end’ but of course 90% of the time they end up together

    • Elizabeth Hunter
      Author
      February 11, 2018 / 7:55 pm

      Argh, I’m so tired of crushes working out 😂 I might sound like a grouch but I just want more realistic books?

  3. Marta
    February 11, 2018 / 7:23 am

    Amazing post, I really loved the tropes you presented here and I’m so with you – especially when it comes to the protagonist ending up alone because I just want more books that don’t focus on romances, where romances aren’t the finish line. It’s just realistic that way because in our hectic lives, some of us really don’t have time for it or don’t consider it a priority.

    • Elizabeth Hunter
      Author
      February 11, 2018 / 7:53 pm

      So true! I’m way too busy with school and work to focus on romance. It’s nice to know other people are there with me, too!

  4. Kellyn Roth
    February 11, 2018 / 1:59 pm

    YESSSS ALL THESE THINGS. (Although I am a sports girl. Playing them, not watching them. Watching sports in the most boring-ness of all time. 😉 But playing them! Hey, when else do a get a chance to be violent with no repercussions? 😛 xD)

    • Elizabeth Hunter
      Author
      February 11, 2018 / 7:52 pm

      Haha, yes! Violent with no consequences, love that! Though I’m kind of terrified of getting whacked in the head. I tried to play softball once and spent the whole game ducking 😂

  5. February 11, 2018 / 6:58 pm

    Ooh, I love this post, Elizabeth!! I especially agree with the “crushing but not ending up with anyone” thing. It’s so much more realistic than every crush ending in a relationship, AND it shows that even if the crush is one-sided, or you try the relationship and it doesn’t work out, you’ll still be okay and happy!!!

    Also omg yes I always have a sarcastic or witty reply five hours after my chance is gone (or even like a few seconds too late to say anything lest it be awkward??). I mean, some people are born with that type of humor, but I am definitely not that type of person to come up with something witty on the spot. 😂

    • Elizabeth Hunter
      Author
      February 11, 2018 / 7:51 pm

      Yes! Let’s have mutual break ups? Because I see this happen ALL the time in real life, and never in books?
      Apparently the instant witty genes skipped me 😂

  6. Jennifer Garey
    February 12, 2018 / 2:51 pm

    What a great post! I think contemporary could really do well with realistic tropes!

  7. emmareadstoomuch
    February 15, 2018 / 4:59 pm

    oh my god i love you. this is amazing.

    plz more characters who are actually stressed about school/work/money/etc??? it’s even so refreshing just for an author to MENTION a character doing homework. that’s how rare it is. like the amount of my life i spend working or doing homework…LET ME RELATE TO YOU, CHARACTERS.

    also PLEASE more happily single characters. PLEASE. i am drowning under the weight of all the romance and even-numbered groups of friends who end up perfectly paired at the end of series.

Drop some knowledge!