06-18 Sarah Raplee – WHY PSYCHIC AGENTS?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Romance Novel Tropes

by Madelle Morgan

In my teens I devoured Harlequin category romances, so I knew exactly what I wanted to write about for this month's topic: Favorite Romantic Clichés

In the Muskoka series of contemporary romance novellas I'm writing, I will incorporate several of the familiar tropes listed below. 

Although, honestly, none of my books will have titles like The Bad Boy Billionaire's Secret Bride so as not to be confused with category romance!

Types of Hero

Protector (Military, Cop, Secret Agent, Firefighter, Bodyguard, etc.)
Royalty (King, Prince, Earl, Lord, Count, etc.)
Medical doctor/Surgeon
Boy Next Door
Bad Boy

Who Are You Again?

Mistaken Identity
One Night Stand
Reunited Lovers

With Friends Like These...

Friends to Lovers
Enemies to Lovers


Marriage of Convenience

Baby on Doorstep
Secret Baby
Accidental Pregnancy

Literary Tales of Love
Beauty and the Beast (damaged Hero)

Cinderella (Heroine is transformed)

Upstairs/Downstairs (Heroine falls for Hero in higher social class or vice-versa; e.g. Wuthering Heights)

Have I left out any of your favorite tropes?

Which are your favorites?



Madelle Morgan said...

A reader asked for a definition of "trope".

It is a literary plot device that is used over and over by many authors (and not just in romance).

For example, you will see many romances with a bad boy hero who is "tamed" by the heroine.

Other examples:
A romance with a heroine with amnesia who falls in love with her ex (forgetting they hate each other) - Amnesia trope.

A single millionaire who falls in love with the nanny he hires to take care of his late sister's baby - Millionaire and Baby on Doorstep tropes.

A cowboy who has to marry to keep the ranch - Cowboy and Marriage of Convenience tropes.

You'll see essentially the same stories told over and over, but with a twist that makes them fresh.

They say there are no new plots!

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for the information, Madelle. You have such a clear way of describing things. I tend to like the damaged hero and heroine who save each other or more to the point, heal in order to be with each other.

Sarah Raplee said...

Hi Madelle, I like forced proximity stories. For ex., chase stories where the hero and heroine must escape together, or trapped in a snowstorm.

I also like protector heroes and baby on the doorstep stories. And I REALLY like new takes on fairy tales.

I don't mind tropes when they have a fresh twist. That's hard to do!

Madelle Morgan said...

Hi Sarah,

Yes, I completely left out the Forced Proximity trope; e.g., the "couple stranded in a remote cabin during a snowstorm" plot, and the "On the run" plot.


Marcia King-Gamble said...

I like your approach to this topic and learned quite a bit. The gremlins seemed to have eaten my previous post so I am posting again.