It’s been a bit of a hard week newswise for a lot of us UK folk, so I was glad that Broody graced my inbox again to set his second challenge on ‘favourite romance tropes’. Strap yourselves in and prepare for (awkward, angsty) love…
I keep telling myself I’m not a YA romance person. I’m definitely not. Honestly. I just write urban fantasy about miserable teens running away from murderous supernatural beasties. Most of my characters are troublesome, unlikeable types, who are allergic to tedious stuff like ‘dates’ and ‘commitment’. Why, just mention the ‘R’ word and they run a mile.
But then I look at my work again and consider the sort of stuff I like reading, and the same romance trope pops up: enemies-to-lovers. I don’t like my romances to be handed to me on a plate. They shouldn’t be easy, or insta-love. (I give Katherine in Forever by Judy Blume a free pass, though.) I prefer it when my couple start off hating each other’s guts and trading insults. Then something tips the balance the other way – say, catastrophic danger – and boom! Fireworks! And we all like it when characters go ‘GODDAMMIT, FINALLY’ and destroy everything around them making up for lost time, right?
(And if you’re strong enough not to browse the rest of the site for hours and waste precious writing time, here it is in its TV Tropes form: the Slap-Slap-Kiss.)
Of course, I sort of assume every eligible lady (or gent) starts off thinking Brooding YA Hero is a bit of a cad, and then discovers his better side eventually. That’s because he’s really a Jerk With A Heart Of Gold, you see, and therefore it’s perfectly acceptable to get yourself into all manner of dangerous situations, in the hope that he’ll win your heart in the end.*
And with that, I’m off to preorder Brooding YA Hero’s shiny new book, and get working on that straight-up tropey romance I was never going to write until current affairs drove me from misery to dewy-eyed female characters falling clumsily into the path of an attractive, ambiguously tan boy with cerulean-amethyst-amber eyes. Don’t judge me.
*Please, adventure responsibly.