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Abby Goldsmith
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You're not alone > Subverting tropes: a hard sell?

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message 1: by Abby (new)

Abby Goldsmith (abby_goldsmith) | 1 comments I blogged about a major roadblock I'm running into with traditional publishing industry readers. They see a trope, assume that's all it is, and stop reading before the trope gets subverted.

http://abbybabble.blogspot.com/2014/0...

Will this be a problem with general readers? If you're a writer who likes to subvert tropes, have you figured out a way to reassure readers that "this trope is going to be turned on its head" ?


message 2: by M.L. (new)

M.L. Larson I tried to write romance once. It wound up a huge subversion of romance tropes, and hasn't moved a single copy.

I think some genres really do require tropes be played straight and not subverted. Readers expect certain things, and if they don't get that, they'll go somewhere else.


message 3: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Merriweather (kp_merriweather) | 5 comments as much as it sucks, folks are used to tropes because they are familiar and are the touchstones in which we can relate. on one hand, subversion requires the existence and acknowledgment of the other in order to point out its inherent weaknesses and fallacies yet on the other hand it's too much to require the reader to think outside the box because that means they have to admit to their own shortcomings (which is why the majority of readers consume trope filled schlock. no examples needed. you already know them.)

writing to cater to genre isnt necessarily a bad thing nor is it viable as it is volatile and over saturated. yet turning tropes on their heads while bucking trends, only serves to send it out to the margins . subversive works can present a new way of looking at things, just takes awhile for its unique interpretation to sink in


message 4: by John (new)

John Blackport | 55 comments If I were you Abby, I'd put the "reassurance" you speak of in the blurb.

"Character X is looking forward to Trope X in Setting X, because it's sexy/exciting/comfortable/everything-they've-ever-wanted. But it doesn't stay that way for long! Unexpectedly-Busted-Trope comes along and turns everything upside down!"

Readers who love the trope won't buy your book, but readers who are sick of that trope will --- and they're your target audience.


message 5: by Melinda (new)

Melinda Brasher | 82 comments John, great advice. If only I could write my own blurbs/pitches as easily as you make it sound. :)


message 6: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Krisko (kakrisko) | 1703 comments Mod
I love that formula!


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