Over on Kate Elliott’s website, I’ve contributed a piece on Tropes to her Worldbuilding Wednesdays series of posts – all well worth reading, incidentally, just like her novels.
Just what is a trope and what should you do with it?
It’s one of those words batted back and forth in creative writing conversations, and if everyone else nods wisely but you don’t actually know what it means mostly you’ll mostly sit quietly and try to work out what it means from context.
Unless you can stealthily look up a definition in an online dictionary. Though that may not be overly helpful. According to the Concise OED, it’s ‘a figurative (e.g. metaphorical or ironical) use of a word’, from the Greek/Latin for ‘to turn’. Merriam Webster is more useful. ‘A common or overused theme or device’.
Oh, so it’s another word for cliché? Yes and no, and this is why this particular word has become useful in discussions about plot, character, setting and all the other intricacies of creating convincing fiction.
Meantime, over on Joshua Palmatier’s blog, the Table of Contents for ALIEN ARTIFACTS has been announced.
What’s this particular anthology about? Well, here’s the back cover copy…
What might we run into as we expand beyond Earth and into the stars? As we explore our own solar system and beyond, it seems inevitable that we’ll run into aliens … and what they’ve left behind. Alien artifacts: what might they reveal about us as we try to unlock their secrets? What might they reveal about the universe?
In this anthology, nineteen of today’s leading science fiction and fantasy authors explore how discovering long lost relics of alien civilizations might change humanity. Join Walter H. Hunt, Julie Novakova, David Farland, Angela D. Penrose, S.C. Butler, Gail Z. Martin & Larry N. Martin, Juliet E. McKenna, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, Andrija Popovic, Jacey Bedford, Sofie Bird, James Van Pelt, Gini Koch, Anthony Lowe, Jennifer Dunne, Coral Moore, Daniel J. Davis, C.S. Friedman, and Seanan McGuire as they discover the stars and the secrets they may hold—both dark and deadly and awe-inspiring.
My story now has a title, The Sphere, and if you click through you can look for clues in the list of tales from everyone else. As well as seeing the very fine cover art and for details on the book’s publication date and how to order it.
And by the way, do check out Joshua’s books, and novels from his alter ego Benjamin Tate, the next time you’re looking for a good read.