A really cool online tool (part 2)
A few weeks ago, we told you about the TV Tropes website. TV Tropes actually started out with television tropes. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary a trope is “a word, phrase, or image used in a new and different way in order to create an artistic effect.”
According to the website, “Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations. On the whole, tropes are not clichés. The word clichéd means ‘stereotyped and trite.’ In other words, dull and uninteresting. We are not looking for dull and uninteresting entries. We are here to recognize tropes and play with them, not to make fun of them.”
Although the site is called TV Tropes, its examples include a number of media including literature.
But the website also includes two incredibly unique tools. The pitch generator gives very quick descriptions of potential stories, crossing one trope with another. For instance, Immune to Drugs meets Screw Destiny. Immune to Drugs is someone like Jim Ignatowski on Taxi, Johnny Fever on WKRP, or Keith Richard in real life. They should be dead because of the drugs, but they aren’t. Screw Destiny is someone who decides with ferocity that destiny can kiss their butt and they’ll do what they want.
The pitch generator might be useful for themes.
The story generator might be useful for stories. It lists a setting, plot, narrative device, hero, villain, character as device, and characterization device. In other words, it helps you frame how you’re going to write your story.
You can also use the random trope link at the top of the page if you want to trust your storytelling to, uhhh, destiny.