I read a lot. And when I find certain things (Tropes? Themes? i no do wurdz) in fiction … I perform an inner happy dance and gobble the book down whole. Here are a few reasons for such exuberance, expressed in words. And gifs. Gifs are gifts.
I … have a dream. A dream that a healthy marriage will be portrayed in fiction; where the lead character would be married and that this would simply be the backdrop to the actual story.
Sometimes it’s just nice to read of a stable relationship; to not get readerly stressed when oh, no! look! they’re not communicating again. Gee, I feel so shocked.
And sure – there can be some conflict in their relationship but not major conflict. There is a difference.
Books I’d Recommend:
The Amelia Peabody Series by Elizabeth Peters: think archaeology, romance, humour, lots and lots of dead bodies, and Egypt. And a cast of characters you will grow to love over a nineteen book series. Though, you know, it should come with a warning.
WARNING! READING ANY OF THE AMELIA PEABODY SERIES WILL INSTALL A STRONG DESIRE TO:
- brandish a parasol
- find your very own Radcliffe Emerson.
- war with a dastardly arch nemesis
- solve grisly crimes in Egypt
- be a terribly good archaeologist
just do it!
I cannot respect characters that have good intentions, but are side-tracked by a pair of bootiful, bootiful [insert colour here] eyes.
If you’re going to take down an evil emperor, stand by a resolve, keep to your morals, or read every single book in the Great Library of Alexandria … then you should do it. You should just darn do it.
Kill the bloke. Don’t eat that ice cream. Kick temptation in its face. Invent time travel.
Do not, I beg you, think, it doesn’t matter that he killed my best friend and thousands of innocents, but I can’t kill this evil king because he might possibly have a Tragic Past and more depth than a puddle.
Feelings. Bah. So much selfishness is committed in their name.
Books I’d Recommend:
The Red Rising Series by Pierce Brown: Darrow needs to bring down an entire class system. And by golly, he just goes for it. The series is bloody and brutal, but I like it. I like it a lot.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë: this is one of my favourite classics. Because Jane Eyre? She stands by her principles – even though it means she loses the man she loves.
a slow burning romance
If you tell me a character loves just for the sake of love and oh he said ‘I love you’ so they definitely ARE IN LOVE AND IT’S TWU WUV AND YOU WILL BELIEVE ME. JUST BECAUSE I SAID THEY ARE … I won’t always be able to see it.
I like watching a romance grow – slowly, steadily, quietly. The sort that creeps up on a character until they think: oh, that’s what it is.
Sure, ‘love at first sight’ can happen; in fiction and real life. But I adore reading fiction where you can believe and see that maybe, just maybe this is love – not because the character declares it every. other. page (I could say that I am a dragon-slaying astronaut, for sure, but that don’t make it so) but because we – the reader – have watched it grow.
Books I’d Recommend:
Gosh. This is a hard one. Buuuut … I’ll pick these two. And one of them – in a shock twist that surprises absolutely no one – is a Heyer:
The Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer: I view this book as one of the most wildly romantic books I’ve read, purely because of one, rather ridiculous statement that Vidal passionately utters in a climactic scene.
The action begins with the lead kidnapping the heroine. The heroine isn’t impressed. She shoots him. And thus marks the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar: containing a cringeworthy scene full of second-hand embarrassment, this book has a marriage of convenience that changes into something more as the heroine grows and the lead realises that hey, maybe he kinda leapt to conclusions.
12 thoughts on “tropes i would like to see more of”
Jane Eyre, yessss!!!!! I LOVE that book!!
Ditto, my friend. DITTO.
Married couples. YES. The world of fiction is absolutely starving for some truly good married characters. Maybe their marriage doesn’t even have to be the center of the story; just the fact that the relationship exists and is well-written would be a point scored!
And kind of on the same note, how about sequels where the couple from Book I is now married, but has not managed to lose every spark of personality we came to love them for (and they came to love each other for)?
Yes – it doesn’t have to be the central focus of the story but I want to read that it’s THERE.
And I agree – ONE HUNDRED PERCENT – about the sequels. Romance isn’t boring JUST because they’re are married now and the chase/courtship/conflict is over.
I just wish someone could write something (*cough* theameliapeabodyseries *cough*) where the marriage is ongoing and the sparks are still there; just to let the readers know that romance doesn’t wilt after marriage.
I love Jane Eyre!
Me too! Though I have to admit – I don’t like the bit where the missionary fellow is on the page. Ohhhh, I don’t like him at all!
I’ve been incredibly frustrated with the current hero – especially superhero – mentality that, even after a villain has murdered hundreds or thousands of people, or the villain is about to, it is immoral for the hero to kill the villain. Um. That’s not how life-or-death battles work, everyone.
As for romance, in my own books, I work hard to never have the romantic leads actually say, “I love you.” The best books, which I try to emulate, show the blossoming feelings without resorting to a few words. Though, I think Darcy’s line in Pride and Prejudice, “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you,” is a great exception of a declaration of love because he royally botches the whole speech.
THANK YOU! In the words of the Immortal Shia LaBeouf: JUST DO IT!! It’s like … you’re letting someone go – who has and will kill so many people – just because you have to feel good about yourself. Nope. You make that sacrifice. You do the hard thing.
I’ve got to thinking that saying just saying ‘I love you’ is a cop-out – in fiction, in real life. Nope. Actions, man. ACTIONS!
Love this! Also, your site is new! :O Vewwy nice. (Like mawwiage. ;))
Thank you 😀
If I ever want to make myself laugh I just start saying mawwiaaaaagge XD
I think the problem with married couples in fiction is that conflict drives story, so how do you handle a pair that’s already together and quite happy about it? It takes a bit of skill either to introduce important-seeming conflict into a relationship without threatening to break it up, or write a good story with a conflict-free relationship at its heart.
Well, maybe not that much. But you don’t see it often!
It takes skill, but by golly, Suzannah! I want to see it.
It’s unhealthy to always show these dramatic relationships that have more ups and downs than a seesaw …