Writing tropes and cliches are still around for a reason. They’re tried and true elements of stories.
Yet, it’s always interesting and exciting when a story goes off the rails when it comes to tropes. A fun exercise is to collect different ways to break the tropes in your writing.
- A healer in a fantasy world that doesn’t have a calming bedside manner, one who has no qualms about smashing his/her/their healing staff over an enemy’s head.
- A wise old mentor who has forgotten the last couple of lines of the ancient prophecy.
- The hero who hears the prophecy and escapes instead of “embracing their destiny.”
- The princess who decides she doesn’t want to be locked in a tower anymore and breaks out on her own, taming the dragon and riding it off to freedom.
- Perhaps the princess enjoys the solitude and kicks her would-be hero out once he “invades.”
- Have the redhead be calm and collected rather than have a personality described “as fiery as their hair.”
- Let’s have buff nerds and jocks wearing glasses.
- Small cheerful characters kicking the ass out of bullies.
- Rather than dragons hoarding gold, having small domestic dragons that breathe water to help grow gardens.
- Teenagers focused more on passing their classes than being caught in a love triangle.
- Teenagers prophesied to save the world focused more on actually saving the world than being caught in a love triangle.
- Teenagers prophesied to save the world focused on finding capable adults to save the world, refusing to believe that they are the only hope the world has because they are only teenagers who are focused more on passing their classes.
What else can you add to the list?