So there’s this website: TVTropes.org. And I am completely, irrevocably addicted to it.
What is it about? Here’s the description from the home page:
“What is this about?This wiki is a catalog of the tricks of the trade for writing fiction.
Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations. On the whole, tropes are not clichés. The word clichéd means “stereotyped and trite.” In other words, dull and uninteresting. We are not looking for dull and uninteresting entries. We are here to recognize tropes and play with them, not to make fun of them.
The wiki is called “TV Tropes” because TV is where we started. Over the course of a few years, our scope has crept out to include other media. Tropes transcend television. They reflect life. Since a lot of art, especially the popular arts, does its best to reflect life, tropes are likely to show up everywhere. ”
It’s really interesting to search for a certain movie or book and see all the tropes that show up. The tendency I have, unfortunately, is to click on each trope to read more about it, read all of those examples, and get sucked into the whirlpool that never ends.
It’s not just fun to see what tropes show up in current fiction. I like to try and name the ones I’ve used myself. For example, I know I’ve done RichinDollars,PoorinSense; GreyandGreyMorality, CameBackWrong, and several others. Some day, I hope to qualify for some epic ones, including HighOctaneNightmareFuel (I mean, who doesn’t want that on their resume?), CrowningMomentofFunny, and CrazyAwesome. A girl can dream.
So if you have some time, check it out. But trust me, before you know it you’ll have spent hours there. And you’ll start talking about tropes everywhere. So for the sake of yourself and your family, maybe you’d better not.