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TV Tropes

It may have covered television tropes initially, but it’s long since expanded to cover other mediums: literature, comics, video games, film, theater, and more.

TV Tropes is the newest addition to the Links section of this site.   “A catalog of the tricks of the trade for writing fiction,” TV Tropes contains thousands of entries on “devices and conventions” that a writer uses to meet readers or an audiences expectations.  Sometimes these tropes are subverted in new ways.

As the site states, “tropes are not clichés.”  According to Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 10th edition, clichés are “a trite phrase or expression…a hackeneyed theme, characterization, or situation.”  That same dictionary explains tropes as “the use of a word or expression in a figurative sense : figure of speech.”  A trope can also be a theme—or devices and conventions—that recurs across genre types.

TV Tropes is a great resource for writers to see what has been used in their genre and perhaps gain ideas for using those tropes or subverting them in their own works.  It’s interesting to note that Agatha Christie created several tropes over the course of her career.  Just check out the Mystery Literature section and notice the number of her titles included.

An example?  And Then There Were None.  We’re all familiar with the guests invited to an island and murdered one by one.  How many mystery and horror films have used this?  The same book also gives us: “Acquitted Too Late.”  Whereby those who have been killed must be above suspicion.

Check out this valuable site here.  And mystery fans can quick link to the Mystery Literature page here.

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