YA Tropes I’m Avoiding in My Novel

Perfect Love Ending Tropes

My previous post ranked the top new trope trends in young adult fiction. Now, it’s time to turn my gaze from other novels to my own.

Tropes grate against my imagination and rob me of joy in any novel. Granted, some tropes make sense within plots when given actual depth. But overall, they’re boring and predictable. I prefer some surprise to my stories. Or at least subvert a trope to make the novel different from everything else on the shelf.

This is why I’m working as hard as I can to keep most tropes out of my YA Fantasy novel. It’s in the planning stages but that is where tropes are born or buried. It has been challenging in the best way possible. Avoiding tropes forces me to think of other options than the most cliche one. I actually have this list written out for me to remember.

The Anti-Tropes List:
  • No Chosen One (The world is only wide enough for one Harry Potter.)
  • No love triangles, no love triangles, no love triangles
  • Each girl will NOT end up with a boy for her happy ending
  • Will NOT have only white main characters (AKA MCs)
  • No stereotypes for my diverse MCs
  • Some of my MCs will have their entire family and healthy parent relationships
  • No Insta-love (Instant is only good for ramen, oatmeal, and cleaning supplies.)
  • BFFs will NOT be one dimensional
  • Will actually have female friendships of value
  • No beauty blind girls (And not all of them will be as pretty as Helen of Troy.)
  • Will NOT discover hidden powers (They will already have them, surprise!)
  • No impossible training sequences
  • No “Strong Female Protagonists” (Strength is in depth, not sword wielding.)
  • Not one Mary Sue (Though my chica cadre will be ass kickers, military academy and all!)
  • Evil character will be evil for a reason, not just “because they’re evil”

What do you think? Am I trying to avoid too many tropes, or are you as tired of these cliche plot points as I am? Let me know in the comments!

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