Tue, Jan. 7th, 2014

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[personal profile] skygiants asked for "a couple of bulletproof fictional tropes."

This is only a small sample that I can think of right this second, otherwise this entry would go on forever!

Icy lethal women and the men who love them. This only works for me if the men don't get to outshine the women in terms of lethalness and general iciness, since I've read way too many things in which the supposedly kickass assassin woman's heart is softened by the guy, whose prowess remains unchallenged. Extra special points if the guy has been in love with her since forever. Irene/Gen, as you can imagine, hits this so much I can't even. Ditto Sherry Thomas' Not Quite a Husband, despite my many other problems with the book! I was so happy that Melina Marchetta's Lumatere series has two of these couples!

Descriptions of work. I really love it when I get an in-depth look at a profession or skill or hobby, from the politics in Battle for Bittora to various cooking shows and chef's memoirs. (I could, unsurprisingly, read about cooking stuff pretty much forever!) I especially like the unglamorous bits and the random little details that come from the author's knowledge about a certain specialty, as opposed to when sometimes it just seems too easy or too successful.

Resistance under occupation. I'm actually not sure what to call this one, but I am basically a sucker for stories where you have an oppressive evil regime and there are a few people fighting back, but there's a lot of desperation and suspicion and anyone can turn you in, but there's also intense camaraderie and quiet courage and resisting in the smallest of ways. Most of the YA dystopias right now don't really do it for me; think more Harry Potter stories set during the first rise of Voldemort or AU HP fic about Our Heroes if the Death Eaters had won. Also, 90% of 20th Century Boys fits here, but especially after the second time skip, as well as things like the Buffyverse Wishverse. I was really hoping to get this with the books after The Hunger Games, but alas, no such luck.

The Scarlet Pimpernel trope. I.e. person acts like a fop or a ditz and is underestimated by everyone while they are actually awesome spies or the like. I especially love the female versions of this, like Mina in Meredith Durant's Written on the Skin. Bonus points for lots of angst re: not being able to tell the person you love, or having said person gradually seeing through the facade because they are also that clever. Extra special bonus points if this involves a lot of descriptions of pretty clothes.

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