Sorry for the late start, as I’ve been researching tropes that have somehow cropped in my stories. Today, I’m going to be taking a look at the common tropes being used in YA fiction and the tropes that I’m using in my YA novel, “Magical Compositions“.
And the tropes that are being used in the story are:
- the protagonist is usually female.
- the Mary-Sue character.
- a tortured hero.
- missing/dead parents (or in several cases, parents who are no longer involved in the child‘s life).
- the quirky best friend.
- telling kids about what would happen if they make bad choices.
- parents placing a big expectation of making kids want to keep their virginity. aka good females=virgins; bad females=whores
- the evil bitchy character
- the irredeemable bad guy
and here they are in relation to the story:
- the protagonist is usually female. Case in point: Jennifer Warrington and the other three protagonists Nancy Levesque, Maura Paltrier, and Oriana Harrell are all females.
- the Mary-Sue character. Case in point: Oriana is described as having “the odd coloring of light amber eyes, thick, curly, amethyst hair, and light-colored skin. She was shorter than most of the high school population”. To most of you, that should yell out “MARY-SUE!” right off the bat. Plus the fact that she’s “weird” and has no parents is also a dead giveaway.
- a tortured hero. Actually, make that heroine. There are three. Jennifer, Nancy, and Maura are tortured in their own ways.
- missing/dead parents (or in several cases, parents who are no longer involved in the child’s life). Case in point: Jennifer hates her father for divorcing her mother and being engaged to a “loose” woman and Maura’s father is no longer part of her life. Nancy’s relationship with her father is strained, and both of Oriana’s parents are virtually non-existent.
- the quirky best friend. Again, we have Oriana Harrell, who always seems to be writing dark poetry and dresses in weird outfits.
- telling kids about what would happen if they make bad choices. Jennifer’s mother, Karen, warns her constantly about the need to remain a virgin until marriage, which is a good idea in real life, and drills the story about an aunt’s fate when she didn’t preserve her virginity and married. Doesn’t Karen know that there are many young girls who are raped daily and some have children because of the rapes?
- parents placing a big expectation of making kids want to keep their virginity. aka good females=virgins; bad females=whores. Going along with the last point, Jennifer is seen as good while her soon-to-be stepmother Roxanne Stafford is seen as a whore because she has several children with different men and is rumored to work at a strip club. Jennifer despises Roxanne for those two reasons, not knowing whether or not Roxanne had been abused in childhood/teens and the reason why she had her children. Does Roxanne have problems choosing the guy? What happened with the last few relationships? (I’ll have to clear that up later)
- the evil bitchy character. A far cry from the “nasty cheerleader” (why can’t we have a nice cheerleader?), I have Mia Goff, an aspiring Broadway singer whose morbid jealousy of Jennifer is one of the main rivalries in the story. The other two characters who fall into this category are Davina Castenada and Shawnee Wenlock, two African-American girls who are just plain rude and cruel to everyone in the school.
- the irredeemable bad guy. Well, while that never really happens in my stories, I can safely say that there are some characters in this story who have slid so far down the slide that there is no way that they can safely get back up without a lot of divine intervention. Davina and Shawnee are a prime example of this trope, seeing as they are blamed when another student’s car is destroyed by illegally obtained fireworks and are arrested in front of the entire school. In fact, Davina’s relationship with her younger brother Sam is literally destroyed, making you wonder if redemption for her or Shawnee is even possible.
Well, that’s the list that I have so far, but there will be more to the story, meaning that there will be more tropes that will come. Well, now I have to figure out how to subvert some of these tropes before I write down “THE END”.
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