Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and is now at That Artsy Reader Girl since January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
This week’s topic was one of my own choice, so I decided to do a Top 10 list of different creative ideas/tropes that I’ve enjoyed in books. Some are pretty common that appear in a lot of books, some I’ve only experienced in a book or two.
What are some of your favourite ideas/tropes that you’ve seen or read? Let me know in the comments.
What I mean by hidden worlds is when there is a hidden city or castle or entire country hidden within our “normal” world. What I mean is Harry Potter’s Wizarding World or the Shadowhunter’s world in the City of Bones and other series.
It’s a hidden world from regular people’s eyes, but it exists nonetheless, and it often is more advanced in certain ways than the regular human world.
This was the main premise of a book I read years ago, whose name I cannot remember or find even after an hour of looking. Basically, everyone in the world was born as a twin.
Each set of twins has an “alpha” and a “beta” twin. The beta twin is the one that gets sick, gets injured, and feels pain. It is also the beta that will almost always die first, which causes the alpha to also die.
Twins are separated at birth, the alphas going to be nurtured and treated well, while the betas basically live in squalor. I thought it was an interesting idea, giving the main character a difficult time fighting her bad guy twin brother.
Every fantasy book has its own magic system. Some are simple where they just shoot fire or whatever from their fingers, some it’s a little bit more hidden like the White Walkers from Game of Thrones.
I enjoy learning each new magic system to see how it works, and how none of them are quite the same as the others.
Enemies to Friends
This is a common trope that I enjoy in books. Two characters, enemies for more time than we can remember, finally becoming friends, or even falling in love.
I think there’s something about that bond, and that hatred that makes their relationship stronger in a way.
Usually kids, or young adults are the main characters in a book. Adults are usually set in their place and don’t get involved in the grand schemes of the world like younger people would do.
Having an adult as a main character is an interesting idea because it lets us see the world from the standpoint of someone who has been set in their ways, usually for a long time.
I enjoy adult protagonists, but there is nothing quite like discovering a world through the eyes of someone young. You discover their world, learning about everything as they do.
It’s a common trope in all sorts of novels, but to me, it’s timeless.
Unfortunately I haven’t read too many books where the villain is the main narrator, but the few that I have read usually give us an interesting twist on things. Usually we can sympathize with the main character a bit, but it’s much more difficult to if it’s the villain.
What’s awesome though, is that we can sympathize with the villain. We can understand their actions and almost agree with them to an extent.
Pseudo-European Time Periods
Most fantasy books I’ve read focus on the pseudo-European time period. Knights, castles, swords and dragons. The period never seems to quite change, always focusing on the same general time period with minimal technological changes.
It’s a world where magic is ready to thrive, and is my favourite setting for any fantasy book.
Larger Worlds Than We Know
Some stories give us the entire world. Encompassing us with it’s histories and cultures. Other stories give us one small segment of the world. Maybe it’s one country, maybe it’s a continent.
Either way, having this grand scale story and adventure, taking place in only one small area, while knowing that there is countless other places to explore is amazing. It instills a sense of wonder and awe over what else their could be to see.
The Grumpy Old Man
The grumpy old man, usually who has a dead wife and kids, has been alone for years, and basically hates everything, finding that little spark of joy in life that lets them live.
His walls don’t shatter, they melt, slowly and over a long period of time, but finally when they do come down, they melt completely, changing that man down to his very core.