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Monday, April 16, 2018

Going Back to the Same Well

As my old series Trope-tastic Thursdays indicated, tropes are not a bad thing. We all use them, whether we're aware of them or not. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say there are some tropes I like better than others, and some themes or character types keep popping up.

I'm on Chapter 3 of the new project, Sonata for Springtime. (I had to take a little break due to Influenza B, but I'm better now!) The characters were pretty fleshed out in my head before I even started writing, but now that I'm actually writing, they're becoming more and more defined, of course. In writing my protagonist, Jonathan, I'm finding a lot of similarities between him and other main characters I've written in the past.

This character type that I'm apparently so fond of is not particularly happy or unhappy. He's just plugging away, letting life happen. No major struggles, but no great passion for anything, either. He's just kind of...there. But then BOOM! Romance happens. Or at least the chance for romance arises, because we still need some conflict to drive the story forward.

Let's take a look at my backlog and see how many times I've done this. Stephen from The Edge of the Sphere definitely qualifies, as he's probably one of the most passive characters I've ever written (in the first half of the book, anyway). Caleb from Flight of the Dragon Queen (the 1Night Stand series) probably also qualifies, though at least he was slightly more proactive in contacting Madame Eve for a date. In Out of Orbit, Aras was content with his life until Jasmine almost literally crash landed in front of him. And then we have a rare female example with Veronica in Seductive Suspect, who gets shoved into the story's plot by her sister.

I don't know why I keep coming back here. I've done plenty of other heroes and heroines, including some who have suffered great trauma but are cured by True Love Forever. (Or, as my college friends used to call it, the "fuck the pain away" plot. :D ) Maybe it's because even though I love sci-fi and fantasy and all these wildly imaginative worlds, I also like regular people doing regular things. We can't all be dark and brooding, after all.

So while I could probably use a little more variety in my writing, it's not like all these characters are exact clones of each other, either. It's working for the story I want to write, so I'm not going to create some tragic past or heroic adventure for Jonathan just to mix things up. He'll have plenty to worry about anyway as the book progresses, don't you worry.