Every now and again, writers become stuck in a self-made box or rut. There will be times when it seems I am the well of inspiration herself, my fingers drumming across my keys as I write my posts. Other times not so much. I’m sure any blogger would agree with me, but constantly thinking up fresh, new and exciting content is hard! The pressure is real. [Especially if you’re a perfectionist like me].
When I sat down to plan out my blog posts for this week I came to a very dreaded conclusion: had I burnt myself out?!? I’d been posting review after review, completed some fun tags but where was the spark? I knew I needed to head back to the drawing board to find something fresh and fun.
And that’s a lot harder than it seems.
Then inspiration struck – I was watching a movie, completely invested in some seriously ridiculous cliched plot trope when it hit me – let’s do a discussion about my reader quirks! I can rave about my favorite tropes! [Not exactly original but hey, it was something]. So today, let’s discuss the literary devices that get me super invested…
✨ The Gypsy Sub Plot
This is probably my number one fantasy trope – if there’s a gypsy sub plot I’m 100% on board. There’s just something about life on the road, the wandering and freedom it promises that just gets me super invested. Not much needs to happen plot-wise, just the caravan atmosphere and the sense of community living off wagons are enough to keep me hooked. I mean; falling asleep by lantern light, drinking ale around the camp with the troupe, braving the elements, the threat of bandits or highway men… Need I go on???
And it doesn’t even have to be travelling the road or forest. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue featured a travelling fair of merchants and gypsies living on boats that float up and down the Rhône. Chocolat did it too, what with its community of river-rats. [I’d highly recommend the film as well. I mean, they casted Johnny Depp as Roux. #enoughsaid].
Best Books: A Torch Against the Night, Chocolat, Empire of Storms, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Rebel of the Sands and Spin the Dawn.
✨ Uncharted Islands
Okay, I’m 99% sure that I can chalk this one up to my love of The Simpsons and their Lord of the Flies parody. Das Bus is a classic episode which sees Bart, Lisa, Milhouse and the gang stranded on some remote island. In natural satire fashion, shenanigans and general tomfoolery ensue. But come on – doesn’t sleeping under the stars, the thought of tree houses and monkey butlers sound temping??? Then there’s mysterious natives, ancient volcanoes, underwater caves and that ever present tropical vibe. Anyway, Das Bus basically started my seriously weird fascination with uncharted islands and the dangers they pose.
And speaking of dangers – Daughter of the Siren Queen is a prime example of this trope. An unexpected plot twist forced the crew to detour to an unknown coastal island. This seriously gave me anxiety; the crew were attacked by ravenous cannibals and the tension was pressing. I won’t spoil the details but it was horrific and I was left in shock [but low key loving it?].
Best Books: The Beach, Daughter of the Siren Queen, Lord of the Flies, Robinson Crusoe and Voyager.
✨ The Fantasy Tavern
Unpopular opinion alert! I am obsessed with fantasy taverns and inns??? I know, I know – the fantasy tavern is a seriously over used trope. It’s riddled with cliches; tavern wenches and bar maids serving watered down ale or rum with questionable meat dishes. It’s always musty, seedy and dark; just the place for dark deeds, mercenaries, gambling and who could forget the guy wearing a cloak sitting in the corner?
Yes – I know that taverns are overkill but I practically live for these ramshackle, moody settings.
My favorite establishment you ask? The Mended Drum, situated in the Discworld’s capital; Anhk-Morpork. The Mended Drum is Anhk-Morpork’s most famous watering hole, home to many a bar fight, feud and duel.
Best Books: A Court of Mist and Fury, A Darker Shade of Magic, The Assassin’s Blade, The Colour of Magic, Passenger and Song of the Current.
And those are my top favorite tropes. Now I want to hear from you! What are some of your reader quirks? Are then any literary devices that always get you super excited? Let me know in the comments below!