marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Making Tropes Interesting

I was a panelist for this one.

The moderator asked us all what tropes we were tired of seeing.  To which my reaction was -- you know, there are very few tropes that I object to that I don't have other grounds to object to.  The elitist magic, where you have it or don't, and not having it is not like being tone-deaf, a rarity.  It's common -- all over the place -- but I can object on the grounds that it's a cheap way of making your character a special little snowflake.

But nothing ever gets to be a cliche without over-use, which means it has to get itself used, a lot.  And it has to have some virtues for that.  Respect your cliches.  They've got something going for them.

But the trick is breaking off the baggage and giving it new baggage, I think.

(More on panels tomorrow.)
Tags: arisia, cliches, writing technique

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