What is a trope?

Some say there isn’t a story that hasn’t been written. But what does that mean?

Since the beginning of time, people have told stories to teach lessons, connect, entertain and convey meaning. Gradually, the format of stories evolved; storytellers began using common techniques, recognising that doing so was a useful way to gain attention and help the audience connect to the story, thereby ensuring a satisfying reading or listening experience.

These storytelling techniques are known as “tropes”.

A trope is a familiar or common storytelling convention, device, or character attribute. It briefly and succinctly describes the type of story readers can expect, such as “boy meets girl” — a trope that pretty much encompasses every romance novel ever written! (It can, of course, be modified to “boy meets boy”, “girl meets girl”, or even “boys meet girl”, to encompass alternative pairings.)