1. Autumn Grayson says:

    What I like to do is look at tropes, etc. and think about how they can be approached in a more realistic/detailed manner, or even completely reversed in a way that makes them an entirely different type of story. This can be as simple as changing the motive for why a character makes a certain decision. There is a trope, for instance, of one of the ‘good guys’ turning evil and all this friends wanting to redeem him simply because he is their friend.

    A way to counter this trope could be to have someone try to redeem the evil person for more selfish reasons, like if they knew the evil person could be useful if he was redeemed and used his abilities for good. This is actually a partial motive in several of my stories, and it’s been pretty useful in terms of exploring human nature and what it takes to truly care about someone. Many times characters can start out on their journey for selfish reasons like this, but end up caring in a more positive and deep way at the end of the story.

    • Interesting approach, Autumn. Thanks for giving that window into your writing. I like the possibilities there.


    • It also makes your heroes more complex. Could the person seeking to “redeem” the “bad guy” for purely utilitarian purposes be on a downward character arc himself so he (or she) winds up worse than the one they sought to reform?

  2. There has been a troubling trope of “my sexy monster boyfriend” in young adult and even women’s fiction. It glorifies abusive relationships. They compare it to the fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast, but it’s turned inside out so the lover is beautiful on the outside and ugly within.

    I’m working on subverting that trope in my WIP. Loved to Death is meant to be a horror novel rather than a romance.

What do you think?