Common Romantic Tropes

Romantic Tropes? So, like – those classic 90s films where the nerdy girl becomes hot when she removes her glasses? Or, er, dare we bring up Disney’s Beauty and the Beast? Even Mr. Darcy is now a trope of some kind.

Common Trope – Partnership/Arrangement/Marriage of Convenience

In historical fiction, a widowed rancher requiring a woman to help him raise his children decides to marry the outspoken spinster.  They agree to a mutual arrangement that will help both of them succeed in a world that would otherwise leave them struggling alone. Initially, the arrangement is a struggle as the two try to learn how to navigate a sexless, loveless, marriage and the tension of their arguments as they work together is a slow-heat of desire.

Why I Find It Engaging to Read and Write

There is something to be said about learning how to navigate life with a new partner, of finding common ground, and joy in realizing someone you work hard alongside is the person you deeply love.

Common Trope – The Beauty and the Beast

A beautiful woman/man finds themselves in an arrangement with a person who has been shunned and ostracized for looking/being different.  It’s a journey of someone needing to find meaning in being seen as something other than beautiful. They find themselves in a position to draw out the person who has given up hope on society/themselves.  The two of them are able to see past what society tells them they are and learn who they really are with the help of the other.
Why: This theme is enjoyable to read/write because it allows for self-reflection and introspection of who we are as readers, who society may tell us we are, and helps us challenge our world view.  It’s a rich narrative that consistently is used because it’s a great tie in to multiple genres. Common trope: Reunification.  Young love that is forced apart due to age, relocation, or misunderstanding.  Circumstances draw these people back to each other over the years but the timing is never right.  There’s always a roadblock that keeps the lovers apart – marriage to another, deployment in the military, circumstances that are often out of control of one or the other.  The waiting for the right time to reunite can be a rich story-line that keeps everyone engaged.

Why I Find It Engaging to Read and Write

Many people have an understanding of ‘lost loves’ and may find themselves daydreaming about the ‘what-ifs’.  Being able to read about these stories is a rich way to enjoy fiction and can help drive a variety of stories that will keep all romance lovers engaged.

Writing Freelance

Jessica Means View All →

My professional background in biotechnology as a research chemist and as a veterinary technician has allowed me to have experienced two vastly different fields and for that I am thankful. In both careers, I have mentored, encouraged, and developed talent.

As a mother of two (a daughter and a son), I'm a self-proclaimed backyard chicken guru and someone who has “foster failed” nearly all the animals currently running the household. Oh, and I maintain a husband in my spare time.

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