I did mention last week I was a tad obsessed with romance tropes lately, right? Well, it got me thinking that while romance has some larger tropes, specific sub-genres of romance, like paranormal romance, can make use of the traditional tropes, and also have some unique ones of their own.
So just in case you’re getting to work, here are some of the tropes I’ve commonly seen in paranormal romance:
- hates what they are / think they’re a monster – I have a love/hate feeling with this trope, but essentially often the hero despises what they are / their powers and somehow wants to escape it, and potentially is saved by the romance.
- loves being magical – opposite as above
- fish out of water – not just a paranormal trope, but frequently appears when a human encounters the paranormal world.
- two species that cancel each other out / fated enemies – very common, especially in vampire stories where there are “good vampires” and “bad” ones. This also encompasses hunted vs hunter stories.
- fated mates – also very common, and can occasionally become love at first sight or at least “you’re supposed to be mine” for one of the partners (yep, love/hate with this one too.)
- mates can save each other -this is where they have to find their mate to somehow gain salvation. But it can also be how they overcome their monstrous / magical nature.
- soul mates through time – essentially, they find each other in every life time, and may or may not remember their past relationships.
- protectors / guardians -also very common, where you have supernatural creatures protecting humanity OR other supernatural creatures OR the kind of demon-slayer / vampire slayer type archetype. This concept shows up in early mythology about many supernatural creatures, especially werewolves. 🙂
- inheritance / awakening of unexpected magical / world-changing powers – one day you wake up and discover you’re a fairy…or a demon, or otherwise the most magical person in the universe. It sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
- changeling babies -related to above, this is where somehow a magical baby / important species was lost / hidden amongst humanity.
- foretold saviors of the world -again related to the above, these are the saviors and prophesized “lucky” characters who get to save the world … or doom it.
- marked / cursed – similar to above, these characters may have been cursed or doomed from very early, or because of their particular actions.
- dual universe / parallel worlds -whether aliens or
- big bad magical vs ordinary human – often combined with other tropes (including fated mates and fish out of water), this is where an ordinary human somehow ends up in love with a supernatural creature … and often proves the power of humanity can equal anything magical out there.
I’ve written a few stories with these. Ironically, it’s especially the ones I’m not sure that I like which challenge me, since I try to write a story that turns the trope into something I would like. And there are so many days I wish I’d wake up and discover I’m magical. Like, maybe I could read minds, or figure out a way to add an extra day to the week. 😉
Your turn! What tropes have you seen specifically in paranormal romances? Which ones do you love, and which do you loathe? Any I’ve overlooked? Love to hear from you. 🙂
Thanks for reading, and hope you all have a great week. Happy writing! And hey, like this post? Why not follow the blog?