Plotting Fiction Made Easier: Start With a Trope

Plotting Fiction Made Easier: Start With a Trop

Writing a short story or a novel and HATE plotting? Many writers find creating plots a struggle. You can make it much easier if you start with a trope.

A trope is a type of story. Our Hot, Hotter, Hottest romance writing class is having lots of fun with common romance tropes. They include staples such as: the billionaire, the accidental baby, the marriage of convenience, second chances, good girl/ bad boy, and so on.

There are tropes for every genre. Here are some science fiction tropes.

Use Your Trope as a Seed.

I’ve had lots of questions about “cheating” if you use a trope.

You’re not cheating, readers like tropes:

 Many readers admitted that the tagline was more enticing than most of the other elements. The tagline for the book revealed it was a marriage of convenience story and you could hear the “oohhs” from the audience on that reveal.

A trope is useful, because it gives you a handle on the kind of story you’re writing – it’s a seed, a way to start thinking.

For example, let’s say you’re a new author. Writing at novel-length takes time, and is nerve-wracking when you’e just starting out. So you’ve made up your mind that you’re writing a series of novellas. Choosing a trope for each story gets you started plotting.

Let’s say you’ve chosen the popular “billionaire” romance trope. Billionaire romance novels sell very well on Amazon. Start playing the “what if” game with your romance trope.

  • What if your billionaire became a billionaire by accident – he inherited his fortune, or he sold an app to Google… You’re writing a romance, so he needs a partner. What if he falls in love with a woman who’s a doctor. She doesn’t like his new status. Or… ?;
  • What if your billionaire loses touch with his roots. He goes to the town he grew up in, and finds he can’t go home again – he’s different, and people look at him differently. Then he meets a woman… Etc.

A trope won’t plot your story for you, but it gives you a way to start thinking about characters and situations. Try it. Find a trope you like in the genre in which you want to write, and play with the trope. You may just discover that plotting fiction is huge fun – and that you’re writing stories that readers love.

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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her Writing Genii website. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.