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Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

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Soon, I Shall Rule the World!
You might think getting on the Times' Best Seller list is the goal of the writing professional seeking fame? Not so. The secret ambition of every geekizoid is getting his own page on the TV TROPES website.

Here I am: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/JohnCWright

The entries are terrifically spoilerific, so do not click through unless you've read the books already.

At first i was worried to see such a lengthy list of cliches, but then I was delighted to see that, in every case I checked (I have not clicked through all the links) everything described as a trope or a cliche, in one of my books, turned out to be something that (1) either the book explains it--it is there for a reason, not because the author was lazy-- or (2) it is the opinion of a character (who has some reason to have that opinion), not a in-world fact established by the narrator.

It might be a cliche for a character to be hit on the head with a sandbag and only forget his name, and not his ability to ride a bike. It is hardly a cliche in a SF world, where memory-editing technology has been established to exist in chapter one, and a character was deliberately shaved of certain memories and not others.

Again, it might be a cliche for a character to conveniently find a ventilator shaft big enough to crawl through to escape, but not if we are talking about the character whose reality-warping magical power is the ability to create such escape exits at will, even in places such exits could not, in Euclidean geometry, actually fit.

Again, I am not sure if it counts as the "Mother Bear" cliche of pissed-off Moms able to defend her cubs if the "Mom" we are talking about is immortal and chthonic Echidna, the mother of all monsters from Greek Mythology. I mean, Homer has her attacking Olympos. Its not like she wasn't killing people before she got angry. Angrier.

Let me hasten to add that the page is not listing cliches as such, but any trope or idiom (hence the name). I am complimented by the entry for the Argent Nautilus under the Cool Boat trope. I am glad someone thought Vanity's silvery ship was cool.

Now, the Argent Nautilus is not as cool as KNIGHT BOAT, the boat that fights crime, but what boat is? 


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