I also realized, much to my dismay, I'm guilty of using tropes. Horrors! I'd just never thought of it in that way before. I like to believe I produce something new and unique in my writing. My historical romance, An Uncertain Destiny, is a good example. I was asked by publishers, what books are similar to mine. I couldn't think of any. This book is set during the witchcraft trials in Salem, not a popular time period. The hero and heroine are separated for a portion of the book--Harlequin didn't like that one bit! Eventually the publishers all passed, and I self-pubbed the book. 12 five star reviews have convinced me I wasn't wrong in thinking the book has merit! Anyway, one of the reviewers mentioned the girl-posing-as-a-cabin-boy trope was very well done. OMG, I used a trope!
I guess we all use common themes in our writing--even when we don't intend to. So, how do you feel when you read a book with a well-worn theme? Yawn-worthy or familiar and comforting? What are some of your favorites?
And now to slip in one of this month's themes: Fall Overboard. In An Uncertain Destiny, the captain falls over the side of the ship in a storm, is rescued by the crew and left for the heroine (yes the one who had been posing as a cabin boy) to nurse back to health. Here's a short excerpt:
Nicholas lay perfectly still. He hadn’t twitched or mumbled once, nor had he regained any color. Picking up his hand, she squeezed his fingers.
“You can’t die. I won’t let you. The Mother Goddess kept you safe. She didn’t let you fall into the dark.” Gently she stroked the nasty looking bruise on his cheekbone below the cut then bent to kiss it.
“I know you belong to another. But knowing hasn’t stopped me from caring.” She pressed her hands together and drew in a harsh breath. “The Goddess knows I’ve tried.”
Did his lashes flutter?
She touched his cheek again with her lips, feeling the scratch of stubble, breathing in the tang of salt on his skin and the metallic scent of blood.
When he didn’t stir, she sighed. “Wake up, Nicholas. I need you to come back to me.” Tears welled in her eyes and ran unchecked down her face. “I can’t lose you too. Even if you’ll never truly be mine.”
If you're intrigued, you can pick up a copy on Amazon. Or, check out my other books on my website. Have a great day!