When people think girl adventurers, they tend to think of a spunky, plucky tom-boy with a chip on her shoulder. I'm not saying that this makes for a dull character, but I think other types of adventurous girls exist. It's easy to fall into well-established tropes, believing that the tropes of a genre define the genre itself.
For someone who is starting out on developing their critical skills, just being aware of its existence is great: it can make the difference between trying to write a story around a cliche or an original idea, and better still, studying it can eventually clue you in on how to breathe new life into tired tropes.
One of the things that make Liars so fascinating after five albums, each one so completely different from the others, is that even though they play around with all the classic tropes of art-damaged angst-noise perv-rock, they exude a totally cheery and boyish enthusiasm onstage, goofing around with their keyboards and beatboxes.
I have written it before and am not ashamed to write it again. Without Wodehouse I am not sure that I would be a tenth of what I am today - whatever that may be. In my teenage years, his writings awoke me to the possibilities of language. His rhythms, tropes, tricks and mannerisms are deep within me. But more than that, he taught me something about good nature. It is enough to be benign, to be gentle, to be funny, to be kind.
I have written it before and am not ashamed to write it again. Without Wodehouse I am not sure that I would be a tenth of what I am today -- whatever that may be. In my teenage years, his writings awoke me to the possibilities of language. His rhythms, tropes, tricks and mannerisms are deep within me. But more than that, he taught me something about good nature. It is enough to be benign, to be gentle, to be funny, to be kind.
The etymologist finds the deadest word to have been once a brilliant picture. Language is fossil poetry. As the limestone of the continent consists of infinite masses of the shells of animalcules, so language is made up of images or tropes, which now, in their secondary use, have long ceased to remind us of their poetic origin.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Personal opinion time: some of the bravest, strangest, coolest stories right now are being told in the young adult space. It's stuff that doesn't fly by tropes or adhere to rules - appropriate, perhaps, since young adults tend to flick cigarettes in the eyes of the rules and don't play by social norms as much as adults do.
The Nazis, for him, are merely available movie tropes--articulate monsters with a talent for sadism. By making the Americans cruel, too, he escapes the customary division of good and evil along national lines, but he escapes any sense of moral accountability as well. In a Tarantino war, everyone commits atrocities. Like all the director's work after 'Jackie Brown,' the movie is pure sensation. It's disconnected from feeling, and an eerie blankness--it's too shallow to be called nihilism--undermines even the best scenes.
In the same way that the picturesque designers were always careful to include some reminder of our mortality in their gardens - a ruin, sometimes even a dead tree - the act of leaving parts of the garden untended, and calling attention to its margins, seems to undermine any pretense to perfect power or wisdom on the part of the gardener. The margins of our gardens can be tropes too, but figures of irony rather than transcendence - antidotes, in fact, to our hubris. It may be in the margins of our gardens that we can discover fresh ways to bring our aesthetics and our ethics about the land into some meaningful alignment.
In general, when a novel manipulates its material to conform to the pieties of the day, or alternatively to attack those pieties for no other reason than the visibility such an attack will generate, when its literary tropes are all too familiar, its clever prose reminiscent of other clever prose, then the compass needle is slipping away from true north... When, on the other hand, the author renounces some easy twist, some expected payoff, to take us into territory we didn't expect but that nevertheless fits with the drift of the story, then the novel gains force and conviction. And when he or she does it again, telling quite a different story that is nevertheless driven by the same urgent tensions, then we are likely moving into the zone of authenticity.
Old English poetry is characterised by a number of poetic tropes which enable a writer to describe things indirectly and which require a reader imaginatively to construct their meaning. The most widespread of these figurative descriptions are what are known as kennings. Kennings often occur in compounds: for example, hronrad (whale-road) or swanrad (swan- road) meaning 'the sea'; banhus (bone-house) meaning the 'human body'. Some kennings involve borrowing or inventing words; others appear to be chosen to meet the alliterative requirement of a poetic line, and as a result some kennings are difficult to decode, leading to disputes in critical interpretation. But kennings do allow more abstract concepts to be communicated by using more familiar words: for example, God is often described as moncynnes weard ('guardian of mankind').
Border crossing' is a recurrent theme in all aspects of my work - editing, writing, and painting. I'm interested in the various ways artists not only cross borders but also subvert them. In mythology, the old Trickster figure Coyote is a champion border crosser, mischievously dashing from the land of the living to the land of the dead, from the wilderness world of magic to the human world. He tears things down so they can be made anew. He's a rascal, but also a culture hero, dancing on borders, ignoring the rules, as many of our most innovative artists do. I'm particularly drawn to art that crosses the borders critics have erected between 'high art' and 'popular culture, ' between 'mainstream' and 'genre, ' or between one genre and another - I love that moment of passage between the two; that place on the border where two worlds meet and energize each other, where Coyote enters and shakes things up. But I still have a great love for traditional fantasy, for Imaginary World, center-of-the-genre stories. I'm still excited by series books and trilogies if they're well written and use mythic tropes in interesting ways.