Tropes « Official Author Website of Melissa McPhail

Archive for the ‘Tropes’ Category

Author Q&A and a Plea to Aspiring Writers

To my readers: please know how much I appreciate your emails, mentions and comments! Recently, many of you have written to me asking similar questions. I thought it would be best to answer all of you here on my blog in order to give your questions adequate address. I’ve lumped your questions together into these three: “What inspired you to. . . Read More


How to Avoid Cliches (or The 4 Things You MUST Know Before Starting A Novel)

A reader recently wrote to me and asked, how do you write a novel when every time you start (oh, so many times!) you get a few chapters in and suddenly become deluged with doubts? And how, when you’re so well-read in the genre that you’ve read it all and seen it all a hundred. . . Read More


4 Steps to the Ultimate Compelling Villain

I want to talk about villains. Not the blackened-to-the-core, maniacally twisted kind or the ultimate evil, soul-devouring kind—I’d say genre fiction is all too familiar with stereotypical antagonists of this ilk. No, I want to talk about the villains you love to hate. Once upon a time in fiction (say, twenty years ago), good and. . . Read More


Why everyone should read Fantasy

  “I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson  We are what we read. In big ways and small, the books, articles and even social commentary that we ingest fuels our thinking like vegetables of the mind. Some never. . . Read More


Exploring Tropes – The Ultimate Evil Dark Lord

The word trope is defined in most dictionaries as “a word or expression used in a figurative sense,” but trope has become reinterpreted in today’s vernacular to refer to an often overused plot device.   The conflict inherent in tropes as they apply to genre literature is that many of these selfsame conventions are the. . . Read More