In penance for there being no trope this week, I offer up this newly released trailer for Iron Man 3.
As Iron Man 2, while still fun, was a bit of a step down quality wise from the first movie, I haven’t been quite as excited about this. But Downey was a blast in The Avengers and this trailer puts Iron Man 3 squarely back on the I Can’t Wait List.
It…looks…AWESOME! Ooo, Pepper in distress, Tony’s hair, seriously creepy iron man suit with no Tony! Yay! And what’s up with the huge bunny in the back of the explosion? Watch it again. You’ll see.
What do you do when you need to develop certain elements of a story but you don’t really have the time to do it? Use this week’s trope, The Montage!
The Montage is a common trope that has fallen into disrespect in recent years. Like many common tropes, it has been overused or done badly and that has given it a bad reputation. It has the stink of a hack writer on it. But I think it’s time to clear the air.
Like any other trope, The Montage can be powerful, funny, energetic, and even touching if it’s done well. The Montage, of course, is the stringing together of short scenes or vignettes, with or without diaglogue, usually set to music. It can be used to show a passage of time or solidify a development in the story. Read more
Welcome back to Troperiffic Tuesday! This week we take a look at one of my favorite action movie tropes. When in a tight spot, the Hero often has to improvise a way to defend himself or others. He may not have a weapon; maybe he’s the kind of Hero who Doesn’t Like Guns (a la MacGyver). If he and his entourage are trying to escape, they may turn to one of the biggest and most easily obtainable weapons around, the car. Let’s hope our Hero is skilled in the not-so-ancient art of Car Fu. Read more
This week’s trope is once again an example of how the world of fiction often doesn’t (and possibly shouldn’t) mirror the real world. Ever notice how in most books, TV shows, and movies no one has the same name? But in the real world people share first, last, or both names all the time. There is a very important reason that it doesn’t happen often in fiction; it’s confusing.
When you are creating a story and the universe in which your characters will live, everything is completely new to your audience, even if the plot takes place in modern day America. And there are a lot of details to keep track of. Having two characters with the same name or even similar sounding names, even if it is more realistic, will just muddy the waters. (Anyone else wonder in Lord of the Rings if they were talking about Sauron or Saruman?) Thus almost all fictional works have a One Steve Limit. Read more
What do the Ark of the Covenant, the Maltese Falcon, and Unobtanium all have in common? They are all versions of the MacGuffin, one of the most commonly used tropes of all time. The MacGuffin is simply what they are after; what the hero is chasing, trying to find, or trying to protect.
The MacGuffin has been a trope in stories for as long as there have been stories (see the Golden Fleece in Jason and the Argonauts) but it was first given its name by Alfred Hitchcock who credited one of his screenwriters with the term. The MacGuffin is the external motivation for the hero’s journey but has little to do with the hero’s actual character arc. In its purest form, the MacGuffin could be replaced with any other item and the story would remain essentially the same. Read more