tropes

Troperiffic Tuesday!: Deconstruction

Chick 1 says:

I have a friend who is an engineer.  When he was a child, he took apart a telephone just to see how it worked.  That is a great example of what the Deconstruction trope is all about.  We take apart a trope, a character, a genre, or even a series to see what makes it tick.  Or what would happen if we did…this?  

Deconstruction is an idea that is used in many disciplines besides storytelling but the goal is the same; to gain a better understanding of something by disassembling it. One of the most popular types of narrative Deconstruction is to ask what would happen to this trope, character or plot device if the rules of Real Life applied to it.  As Deconstruction often, not always, comes across as darker it can sometimes be interpreted as an attack on whatever is being deconstructed.   But it can give us a better understanding of how things work and an even bigger appreciation for tropes, characters, and stories we already love.  Read more

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Troperiffic Tuesday: Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking

Chick 1 says:

This week on Troperiffic Tuesday, we take a look at a very old trope, used as a comic element long before our modern obsession with tropes.  So what’s so funny about Arson, Murder, … and Jaywalking?

There is a certain structure and rhythm to comedy.  I am not remotely educated in the craft of comedy which you will discover as you read the rest of this sketchily researched article but I will attempt to give some foundation here.  There are as many different structures for jokes as there are genres and it’s not just for sitcoms and stand up comedians.  Action movies and dramas need humor too in order to release the tension. Read more

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Troperiffic Tuesday: Took a Level in Badass

Chick 1 says:

This week on Troperiffic Tuesday we take a look at one of my all time favorite tropes, an oldie but a goodie. I love it because it nearly always evokes an emotional response from me and most audience members. Let’s discuss Took a Level in Badass.

See that person standing in the corner over there? You didn’t? Oh right, because you were watching the hero. Well, wait until the third act when the hero is about to be killed and that wallflower decides to kick somebody’s teeth in so the hero can complete his quest. Yea, that moment will stay with you.  And that is the essence of Took a Level in Badass. Read more

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Troperiffic Tuesday: Lampshade Hanging

Chick 1 says:

What does this week’s trope have in common with your crazy Uncle Irwin?  Both wear a lampshade!  The trope this week is a trope about tropes.  Confused yet?  Then let’s learn about Lampshade Hanging.

Lampshade Hanging is sometimes used when a particular trope is glaringly obvious and threatens to distract from the story.  A trope is standing in the middle of the room in all it’s naked glory and the writer thinks that if he puts a lampshade on it, the audience will simply think it’s part of the scenery.  How does he do this?  By addressing the trope directly and calling it out.  Does it work?  If done correctly it does. Read more

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Troperiffic Tuesday: Suspiciously Specific Denial

Chick 1 say:

Thanks for checking in again on Troperiffic Tuesday.  This week’s trope is another fun one, the Suspiciously Specific Denial.

A Suspiciously Specific Denial is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.  A character denies something but perhaps they add just a little too much detail to make it believable.  It’s a step beyond a character jumping when someone walks into a room and yelling, “Nothing!”.   And it is somewhat akin to a trope often used in detective shows called I Never Said It Was Poison, where the suspect throws in a detail that only the killer could know. Read more

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Troperiffic Tuesday: The Noodle Incident

Chick 1 says:

OK, so it’s really Troperiffic Wednesday; I’m a bit late.  But this week’s trope is one of my favorites.  It’s called The Noodle Incident and we all have a few in our past.  Ready to remember yours?

(If you don’t know what a trope is you can find out here.)

The Noodle Incident refers to an occurance in a character’s past or a shared occurence in multiple characters’ past that remains unknown to the audience.  It can be silly, shameful, illegal, outrageous, traumatic, ridiculous, or a combination of any of the above.  It’s named after the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon pictured here.  (Just what did Calvin do?) Read more

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Troperiffic Tuesday: The Wilhelm Scream

Chick 1 says:

Welcome to Troperiffic Tuesday!  This week we delve into the world of audio and look at a scream that has been the last sound uttered by nazis and stormtroopers, cowboys and orcs.  This week’s trope is the Wilhelm Scream.

(If you don’t know what a trope is you can check out the first article in this series, Manic Pixie Dream Girl.)

The Wilhelm Scream is a stock sound effect that has become unbelievably popular in movies of the last few decades to the point where it has become a Hollywood in-joke.  Read more

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Troperiffic Tuesday: No OSHA Compliance

Chick 1 says:

Because most spaceships have rickety walkways over their nuclear core.

Welcome back to Trope of the Week or as it shall henceforth be called, Troperiffic Tuesday! 

Ever seen a movie where the cap is knocked off a pipe joint with very little effort and blinding hot steam comes spraying out?  Or someone has to cross a narrow walkway high above some flesh-grinding machinery with no guardrails?  Or a character falls into an easily accessible vat of acid?  Then you, my friend, are familiar with this week’s trope, No OSHA Compliance.  As always, SPOILERS FOLLOW. Read more

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Trope of the Week: Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Chick 1 says:

Exciting!  Another new series: Trope of the Week.

What is a trope?  A trope is a device, motif, recurring theme, or even a cliche used in storytelling.  It can be a character type, a specific line or style of dialogue, a plot device, even a type of location or set.

A trope itself is neither good nor bad.  In fact, used appropriately it can be an effective tool.  In storytelling, whether in literature or film or other media, a lot of information needs to be communicated to the audience without bogging down the pace with lots of backstory or exposition.  A trope can be a kind of shorthand that the creator and audience have agreed on and recognize so the audience knows what to expect and can concentrate on more important parts of the plot. Read more

Posted on by Chick 1 in Tropes 2 Comments