Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Tropes

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl


The tropes I’m going to talk about today come from a variety of genres. It was easier to jump around among them than to stick to only one!

1. Friends-to-Lovers.

I don’t read a lot of romance, but this is one trope that always grabs my attention from that genre. My spouse and I originally started out as friends, so I deeply enjoy seeing fictionalized versions of what it looks like when platonic love becomes romantic. 

2. Séances.

Most of the books I read on this topic are written about characters who are knowingly or unknowingly participating in fake séances, but real ones are interesting, too. 

3. Urban Legends.

I’ve been fascinated by urban legends since childhood. They can make a wonderful addition to stories in certain genres, especially mysteries. 

4. Based on a True Story.

Some books that include this phrase take liberties with what actually happened in order to tell a better story or protect the identities of innocent people. Others do an amazing job of sticking to the facts as much as is possible for the author. While I do tend to prefer the more truthful accounts of real events, anything inspired by something that really happened is going to grab my attention. 

5. Books That (Literally) Bite
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For example, there were references to a book in the Harry Potter series that had teeth and would try to bite anyone who attempted to open it. There’s something so funny to me about that mental image! 

6. Detectives Who Lick Poison.

This isn’t something I’ve seen in a lot of modern mysteries, but I do remember running across this scene occasionally in older works. What sort of detective licks evidence? Wouldn’t they worry about being poisoned themselves? I sure do like thinking about those questions whenever I run across a main character willing to do this in an old-fashioned mystery. 

7. Bad Weather Interrupting Plans. 

Whether it’s due to a blizzard, fog, thunderstorm, or some other weather problem, I always find it interesting to see how characters react to having to change their plans because of Mother Nature’s whims. 

8. Genre Mashups Being Open About Being Mashups. 

I deeply enjoy genre mashups if I know that about them ahead of time. That is, I want the blurb to be totally upfront about the fact that the plot is a mixture of two or more genres. When this happens, I enjoy seeing how the author combines everything together. 

9. Ghosts Explaining How They Died

One of the reasons why I enjoy the paranormal genre so much is that generally the ghosts in them explain how they died. This is even more satisfying when the ghost themselves didn’t know the answer to that question in the beginning. 

10. Crop Circles.

Crop circles are cool in any sort of story if you ask me.  


  1. You know, I didn’t even think about tropes in scary novels — you’re the first one I’ve seen mention ghosts — but you’re so right about #9!

  2. Great list! I always enjoy reading about séances, I should read more books that include them.

  3. Oh, I need to read a book that has a detective lick something. And Genre mash-ups who are open about mash-ups — yes please! Oh, and books that are open about giving love to all things nerdy.

  4. I definitely love reading books how characters are friends before they move on to becoming lovers. They have a deeper understanding of one another.

  5. This is such a great selection!! I always used to be baffled at Detectives who did that OR rubbed white powder on their gums to see what kind of drugs it was!!!!

  6. Urban legends is a good one! Great list! ?

  7. Yes to friends to lovers!

  8. YAY for the friends-to-romance tropes! Gotta’ love it. It’s been fun to see so many bloggers have a fondness for this trope because of their own love stories. That’s always neat when a reader has a personal connection to a story or plot. 🙂 Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland!

  9. And whether is such a great plot device! And it adds a lot of atmosphere too. Great list!

  10. Oh so many good ones! I do love friends to lovers a lot, I just haven’t read a lot of them yet, so any recs are welcome 😉 I love urban legends and weather interrupting plans too!

    • Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie is really good. I’ll keep trying to remember some other titles for you, too.

  11. LMAO at “Detectives Who Lick Poison”. Too funny! And very good point.

  12. I love how specific some of yours are! Friends to lovers is one of my favorites. Always love that trope.

  13. I’ve never read a book where the cop licks evidence! Except drugs. They always have to taste the white powder. Why is that?

  14. Friends to lovers is always fun, as are seances! Books based on a true story always grab me, also. Great list!

  15. I haven’t read many stories that involved seances. Friends to lovers is always a good story if it’s not too obvious. Excellent choices.

  16. OOoh cool picks! Seeing some that I never really thought of much when it comes to my paranormal reads! Liking them though!

    Thanks for visiting my TTT!

  17. Ooh I like urban legends being explored in books, especially urban fantasy. and I’m always game for a nice storm in a story!

    I need more crop circle stories for sure!

  18. Friends to lovers is a favorite of mine too! Great list! 😀

  19. Oh my gosh, so many good picks on here! A lot I didn’t even think of and I’m like HOW DID YOU NOT, SELF? Jeez! But in all sincerity, Ghosts Explaining How They Died is SUCH a good pick. I need to explore the paranormal genre more!

  20. I love your unique picks! Urban legends are pretty cool. And Friends to Lovers is always sweet.

  21. Ooo books that bite! That is a fun one! Last one I read with that kind of thing was Sorcery of Thorns and you’re right. It just is such a wonderful mental image.

  22. What a fun list , thanks for stopping by The Phantom Paragrapher. I love Urban Legends book as well. Friends to Lover is a favourite of mine too as it is similar to my own life.

  23. I would never participate in a séance, but I don’t mind reading and watching them. Very creepy.

  24. Utopia State of Mind says

    OMG detective who lick poisons? That is so unique

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