Overused Tropes and Clichés – Can We Get a Break?

Overused Tropes and Cliches

OMG, I’m Soooo tired of reading these same tropes and clichés. They’ve been used and abused well past the point of beating that poor horse to death. (Uh oh) Nothing new or original under the sun? (Oops!) We’re doing this again, are we?

Trope, as in commonly used theme or device–

Cliché, as in phrase or expression used for the gazillionth time into ad nauseum.

Well, is it a trope or a cliché? Has the trope been used so many times it’s beyond predictable? Past the point of boredom? Then it’s a trope that has become a cliché!

I’ve gathered a few “just off the top of my head” (chuckle), that is really beginning to set my teeth grinding (adding insult to injury). (A triple!-don’t get me started.)

Dump the Tropes:

  1. Damaged female protagonists – with or without ginger-colored hair and all male protagonists over 6′ and hunky.
  2. Capable female protagonists suddenly incapable or worse in the presence of the 6′ hunk (see #1).
  3. Bad boy sheriff – but always gets his man even if he has to fight the whole town to do it.
  4. Back to the old, small home town–couldn’t wait to get away–come crawling back.
  5. Cop in love with the criminal–because they aren’t really guilty, you see.
  6. Cop with troubled past, abuses alcohol and his connections, still gets his man (or woman).
  7. The old love triangle–who to choose, eenie, meanie…
  8. Insta-love (’nuff said)
  9. The average, normal everyday guy (girl) who turns lucky and wins the big one–whatever that is.
  10. The ugly one who turns beautiful. (Took their glasses off?)
  11. Dystopian–depressing, just flat depressing.
  12. Conspiracy theory but there’s one in the world (the protagonist) who can see and solve it.
  13. The evil one, well, mostly evil until…
  14. Secret witch, magician, possesses magical powers
  15. Bad, abusive childhood, one parent household
  16. Super conflict between male/female resulting in “heated arguments” that result in protagonist passion.
  17. The nerd with IT that can invade any computer or the kids with more tech-savvy than their parents.
  18. Children with witty mouths obviously smarter than adults.
  19. Vampires, zombies
  20. Amateur sleuths who must solve the case because the police can’t (or won’t).
  21. The amnesiac, can’t remember or won’t?
  22. Only child discovers they are the long lost relative of a maga-rich uncle (aunt?).
  23. The crotchety old mentor who turns sweet and nurturing. (see #21)

Animal slap

Of course, along with the tropes, I began gathering overused clichés (in addition to the above):

  1. He/she scrubbed her fingers through his/her hair–used his/her fingers to rake her hair.
  2. Grabbed an errant strand of hair and tucked it behind her ear.
  3. Is that all you got?
  4. I’m just doing my job.
  5. What part of [fill in the blank] don’t you understand?
  6. Did I just say that out loud?

I know you can add many to the above lists. I actually found a website that listed almost 700 clichés not to use in your manuscript (or that are found in the books you are reading). These clichés are getting mighty tired for those of us reading the books. Going forward, can we avoid these like the plague? (Oops.)

There was a recent meme discussion that Shanah of Bionic Book Worm circulated that she included in her Top 5 Tuesday for October. You may wish to catch a few of those as well. I’ve also gleaned a number of the above suggestions from The Writing Cooperative by Zoe Nixon. Lively discussions! Do you have your particularly egregious list as well?

©2018 V Williams V Williams

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#ThrowbackThursday – “Broken Things” a Dystopian Thriller

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, “It’s Book Talk” to share some of her old favorites. Sounded like a good reason to join! My TT posts will not come from current ARCs or new releases. I’ll be going back over some of my oldies but goodies, my favorite authors, and some of my favorite stories from authors you might not have previously experienced. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out.

Broken Things by G. S. WrightOriginally posted May 25, 2013.

Book Blurb: “The world has changed. People live forever, but children are a thing of the past. To meet the demands of want-to-be parents, children have been replaced with androids… very life-like androids.

Josh, a twelve-year old boy, is hit by a truck, leaving him badly damaged. Instead of paying the outrageous cost to fix him, they dump him in the wilderness…His only salvation may rest in finding a single person that cares.”
Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – “Broken Things” a Dystopian Thriller”

Resurrection America – a Book Review

Resurrection America by Jeff GunhusTitle: Resurrection America by Jeff Gunhus

Genre: Currently #2880 in Best Seller’s Rank in Books, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science Fiction, Hard Science Fiction

Publisher: Seven Guns Press

Publication Date: June 5, 2017

Source: Sent by author as ARC for review

Resurrection America – Cover conveys subject

Resurrection America grabs reader interest immediately. It is a very small mining town in Colorado apparently a few years hence following cataclysmic nuclear attacks in big town America. Continue reading “Resurrection America – a Book Review”

What is Nano-Punk?

In my day, a looong time ago, things were so simple: Radios with general audience series that didn’t have to be rated, black and white round-screened TV’s with programs also unrated, and books in genres you could understand just by the name (most likewise unrated). There was no nano–anything: nano-punk, nano-technology, or cyber-punk.

It was a book series I recently completed that got me started exploring “Nanopunk,” a sub-genre of science fiction. The “Futurescape” novels written by Dean C. Moore in Terraforming Earth-Phase 1-“The Plagues Era” and Phase 2-“Humanoids in Sealed Habitats” are extremely eye-opening.

Divided into two classes, fiction and non-fiction, the genres back then were easy to discern. Fiction separated into simple headings: genres

  1. Drama
  2. Comedy
  3. Crime/Detective
  4. Fairy Tale
  5. Fantasy
  6. Historical
  7. Horror
  8. Mystery
  9. Romance
  10. Science Fiction
  11. Suspense/Thriller
  12. Western

Continue reading “What is Nano-Punk?”

#ThrowbackThursday – “Broken Things” a Dystopian Thriller

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, “It’s Book Talk” to share some of her old favorites. Sounded like a good reason to join! My TT posts will not come from current ARCs or new releases. I’ll be going back over some of my oldies but goodies, my favorite authors, and some of my favorite stories from authors you might not have previously experienced. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out.

OrBroken Things by G. S. Wrightiginally posted May 25, 2013.

Book Blurb: “The world has changed. People live forever, but children are a thing of the past. To meet the demands of want-to-be parents, children have been replaced with androids… very life-like androids.

Josh, a twelve-year old boy, is hit by a truck, leaving him badly damaged. Instead of paying the outrageous cost to fix him, they dump him in the wilderness…His only salvation may rest in finding a single person that cares.”

Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – “Broken Things” a Dystopian Thriller”