Writing Exercise: A Wink of Romance, a Kiss of Tropes

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Tropes are all the rage in romance – they really help marketing. Does your audience want a mafia romance or office romance? Should it be enemies to lovers or fake dating?

Some of the most common tropes in romance are: Meet-Cute; Enemies to Lovers; Rivals to Lovers; Friends to Lovers; Fake Dating; Boy/Girl Next Door; Brother’s Best Friend; Roommates; Escape from the Friend Zone; Forced Proximity; Trapped in an Elevator; Marriage of Convenience; Forbidden Love; He Fell First; Bad Boy/Girl Hero; Age-Gap Romance; Slow Burn; Fast Burn; Insta-Love; Love Triangle; Why Choose?; Single Parent; Already Pregnant; Second Chance; Interracial; Opposites Attract; Grumpy-Sunshine; Fairy Tale Retelling; Paranormal; Fated Mate

Not sure exactly what each of these are and how they work? Below are some blogs which could help you define them; if this blogs have been eaten up by time a quick search on “Romance Tropes” should bring back a lot of examples.

“Romance Tropes: What they are, and what they aren’t” by Natasja Rose. Posted Sept 2023. (https://vocal.media/writers/romance-tropes – last viewed 11/9/2023)

“13 Beloved Romance Tropes Every Reader Will Recognize” Reedsyblog. Posted November 2, 2022. (https://blog.reedsy.com/guide/romance/romance-tropes/ – last viewed 11/9/2023)

“Ultimate Romance Tropes List: 28 Tropes + Book Recs!” by Sonia Singh. Posted May 28, 2023. (https://brewingwriter.com/romance-tropes-list/ – last viewed 11/9/2023)

READING EXERCISE: If you read romances, take the three most recent romance you have read and record all the tropes that each of the books have. Which ones do you like the most? Do you have other other tropes you like in your romances? Comment below.

WRITING EXERCISE: Choose one of the tropes above and write a scene or a flash for it between 100 and 500 words. Your story can be the initial meeting or some other stage of the romance. What tropes did you use? Comment below how you explored the structure of the trope in your scene.

My attempt: Pixie Power – concentrating on Pixie Power 2 “I rather not” (10/22/2023) for this particular writing exercise. Browser is the epidemy of the “The Boy Next Door” who has so much “Unrequited” love it is painful to see him with the clueless Amie. “Opposites Attract” hopefully, eventually – maybe with a little help of “Forced Proximity” hinted at in episode 3.

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