Least Favourite Trope

Arm with knife

Relax- he’ll never catch you.

There is an argument that tropes can be unavoidable. In fact, some genres are so formulaic that a trope is mandatory and that the only thing that matters is presenting it in style.

Personally, I hate this type of story. I like my plots to keep me stimulated and have me wondering right up to the dénouement when it all ‘finally becomes clear’. Unfortunately there are some conventions (tropes) which storytellers just don’t seem to be able to break free from.

Although I’m spoilt for choice here, I think the worst trope occurs where the hero/heroine is being closely pursued by the resident bad guy/monster. Regardless of how fast our ‘good guy’ runs, how many times he/she falls over, or the extent of injuries to the ‘bad guy’, there is always just a few feet between them in any chase sequence. Add to this the convention of a superhuman type resistance to pain or damage to internal organs that psychopaths seem to possess and you’ve turned a scary horror story or a hard-boiled crime novel into a complete farce.

I realise that it may be hard to completely exclude such situations but there are other ways of boosting your book’s plausibility factor if you make the effort. In my opinion, it’s that effort that turns a so-so author into a great one.