Literature's number one seller: Romance novels. You can't escape them.
Whether you're open about your love or hide behind black out blinds, in pillow forts, to enjoy a bit of chick lit to relax, we can all agree there is just something so enticing and comforting about a good old romance story. And we are not talking of tragedies like Romeo and Juliet, oh no. I mean the soft, feel good stories, the stories that have you reminiscing of old times and the good old days, or perhaps the start of your own romance, or the stories that leave you wishing for your own tale of intimacy and vulnerability.
Or perhaps you are one who those who enjoys a little tragedy to spice up their life or whether due to wanting to see love burn others maybe as it burns you or simply for your own amusement!
Hey, we don't judge here!
Or perchance you're one for a good old fashion tale of learning not to love another but yourself!
We are all bound to have crossed paths with one love story trope or another. The most obvious displayed across film screen and paper: the love triangle (or even the love square)
a figurative or metaphorical use of a word or expression. "both clothes and illness became tropes for new attitudes toward the self"
a significant or recurrent theme; a motif. "she uses the Eucharist as a pictorial trope"
There are many traditional love story tropes:
(best) friend to lover
Enemies to lover
Secret billionaire/celebrity/royal romances
And lets not forget the favs you find in fanfiction (I once read a twitter thread from a literary agent asking for authors to write more of these love tropes for manuscripts, after all there is a reason why they are so often used by fanfic writers - because they are so loved!)
Coffee story romance! Player one is a customer and player two is a waiter/waitress or coffee shop owner. Or player one and player two have the same coffee request that has their survey look at them in horror and whisper “oh god, there are two of them…”, or perhaps two cat lovers find love at a cat cafe
Soul marks! The more the merrier readers seem to say, with soul mark stories based on red ribbon links, to matching tattoos, to dream link marks and so many more!
The five times + one story line - now this is more of a storyline then trope type, but I thought it would be interesting to include! This type of story can play out differently in a majority of themes and genres - for romance it could be five times they missed each other plus one time they fell in love, or five times they argued, one time they gave into their crush
But why are they so popular? Well, according to this blog it is due to their familiarity to the reader and the starting point they perchance give to an author to innovate off!
What do some of the council have to say about love story tropes?
Guild master: Rose
"I believe, when it comes to my current fav (yes current, as as a avid reader and writer with ever changing taste any like/dislike is always a of a current nature) has to be coffee shop love stories. Perhaps solely because I am envisioning some portion of my future, god willing, owning a coffee/bookshop and I am intrigued and interested about the stories I will see played out from behind the counter! Oh and also one that seems to be my fav is two people from different worlds colliding! Which basically is: any book by Laini Taylor, my fav being strange the dreamer with a book lover who has literally been shaped by books (i.e. his nose was broken due to one :P) and a blue skinned half breed imprisoned in the after effects of a war ruled by both sides of her lineage)
As for least liked currently, I believe it has to be second change lovers, where person A used to bully person B - I just cannot fully get behind them! I guess there might be some exceptions, such as if person A, the previous bully, has suffered the consequences of their actions and apologised thoroughly and is forgiven not just because person B is to forgiving)
Draconic advisor: Adi
Favourite love trope(s): Love triangles and oblivious that they are in love, I think. But it depends on how it is written since sometimes it feel like the trope is dragging on for too long.
Least Favourite love trope(s) When one of the people of the couple is being forceful and consent becomes blurry in the relationship.
Favourite love story: Loveless by Alice Oseman. Romance is not quite the focus (although there are some romantic relationships). Despite the title, I think it's a love story to an extent. Mostly LGBTQ+ cast. The protagonist is aroace. There is also an alloromantic ace and an aro allosexual. The former plays a bigger role in the story, but seeing the different combinations of the aromatic asexual spectrum is usually a rare sight. The book mostly follows first year university students dealing with the challenge of starting university. It focuses on accepting your identity and love in the form of friendships.
Warning (from https://www.aliceoseman.com/content-warnings ): • Internalised aphobia • Verbal aphobia • deliberate aphobic attitudes • accidentally aphobic attitudes due to ignorance/lack of knowledge about a-spec identities • Frank discussions of sex and masturbation • Two brief incidents of exclusionary attitudes • References to past emotionally abusive relationships • References to past bullying
Belated love epiphany (don’t realise what they have until it’s gone/the threat of it leaving)
Love square (also known as Miraculous Ladybug XD)
Liked love story tropes:
Wrong [person] first
The Dulcinea effect
Fumbling for words
Mysterious love letter
Fav love story: Troilus and Criseyd: an epic poem by Geoffrey Chaucer which re-tells in Middle English the tragic story of the lovers Troilus and Criseyde set against a backdrop of war during the Siege of Troy. It was composed using rime royale and probably completed during the mid-1380s.
Writing exercise - write a plot for a love story using some tropes! Here's a example: The first five times we met I was dumb struck. The last time? The last time I was furious.