On Creativity – Tropes and why we love them

A ‘trope’ is a recurrent literary theme, motif, or structure of a plot when it comes to writing novels and stories. Most tropes are presented by authors again and again, in differing formats and story-lines, and yet, though readers generally recognize them and sometimes even preempt certain happenings and resolutions, they still continue to prefer the same type of story-line and continue to read and enjoy such books and stories again and again.

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Most tropes are over-used, and yet, they still sell. Why? I must admit that I myself find that I tend to gravitate towards reading familiar tropes, especially when I’m in a certain mood where I need a nice comfortable reliable story… and yet… is writing a novel and basing it on this much-recycled outline acceptable? I mean – where is creativity?? And what about originality?

Take for example the Rags to Riches trope – here the main character is usually a young unknown person who, through some circumstance or other, ends up becoming rich and famous. Some well-known examples include Cinderella, Pretty Woman and Slum Dog Millionaire.

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Another well-known trope is the Love Triangle – this one actually needs no explanation does it? Everyone enjoys a good love story, but throw in some unrequited love, a couple of misunderstandings, a pinch of jealousy and heartache, and there it is, the usual popular T.V drama series cocktail!

A third trope, which never gets old, is what I call the Ugly Duckling story-line. Think about My Fair Lady, The Princess Diaries, Miss Congeniality or The Devil wears Prada, and you have it. Basically this kind of story also usually ends up becoming a ‘moral lesson’ = Unkept girl has a make-over and transforms into a beauty, then realizes that looks are not everything… but she still looks pretty now anyways.

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Want another one? How about the Unknown Hero who saves the World trope? I guess I don’t even need to give examples for this one… *cough*Spiderman*cough*Superman*cough*Marvelingeneral*

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And what about all those post-apocalyptic dystopian teen-movies which seem to add up all of the above?! The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, Divergent, The Giver… ugh! I read the books before there was even a hint of any movie, and I realized early on that they were all the same, and yet I still gobbled them up! Why!?

I guess we all love the familiar, we all dream of becoming rich, popular heroes and that never changes.

Yet, artists, BEWARE. Writing/creating something familiar while portraying it in an entirely new and creative manner is one thing, re-writing the same thing over and over and over again, is another. ‘Familiar’ is a tricky word, since it is most often dangerously close to ‘mediocre’, not to mention ‘boring’. 

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Not a Boring Post

Yesterday I was talking to my new colleague about an ex-colleague, who had once been her boss (she became her boss after leaving my office). At the time when this person still worked with me (a couple of years ago now), she wasn’t my boss though. Thank all the gods. Thing is, she was one of the most self-centered, obnoxious, hypocritical people on earth. Her low-self esteem, which she transformed into emotional bullying, did not help either. I spent 3 years working in the same office with her, and I must admit it was one of the most stressful times of my life.

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While talking with my new colleague, I vented a bit and told her stuff I had never told anyone except my partner about the way this person used to try and manipulate people. Not to mention all the ‘stories’ she used to tell me pertaining to her sexual and dating escapades, which only served to fuel my antagony towards her. Now let me be clear, I am very open minded and never judged any of her actions – the thing is, when you are in a professional setting, you just shouldn’t talk about certain things with colleagues! Period! This really made me uncomfortable with her, especially since she used to get into graphical details – very PERSONAL details, which I really didn’t need or want to know!

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When I described this one-sided relationship to my new colleague (because I for sure NEVER shared such intimate stuff with her in return), she was astonished. ‘No wonder you couldn’t stand working with her any more! I don’t even tell such personal details to my closest friends, let alone talk about them at work!’ That was her reply, and I was glad to see that I was not the only one thinking like that.

Yes some colleagues are also friends, but there is still a line which must never be crossed.

By the way, NO she particularly wasn’t a friend – in fact professionally, she was actually a fraud. She never did any work, came to the office late and left early, and even tried to get ME to do her work while taking all the credit. And THAT is where I got really fed up, told her to fuck off, and refused to work, talk, or interact with her in any way. I had been fed up with her for a long time, but I am not the kind of person to fight at the drop of a hat, so I try to reign myself in and calm down… HOWEVER when I realize that a person is hopeless and can only be of detriment to me, I tend to categorize her in my mind as a ‘waste of time’, and just move on. And when that line is drawn, I never go back, and good riddance (it’s the kind of thing which happened with most of my exes).

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The line was not drawn when she told me more than I (or anyone would have) felt comfortable with, but since she was a work-mate, it was drawn in relation to her work attitude. Having her moaning and groaning about her ex, and her one-night stands every bloody day for three years, did not help either lol. For me, personal and intimate stuff, particularly that pertaining to relationships, is PERSONAL. Meaning that since for me, it is special and magical, I do not share it with anyone and everyone who comes along – and this is why THIS blog is not a romantic one by the way. I rarely, if ever, mention my soul mate and partner, not because he is not always there, present in my life and a priority – of course he is, BUT because, in fact, my life with him is MINE and I do not feel comfortable sharing it on a blog. There is plenty much else I can write about anyways, so I don’t need to resort to that. 

Not to mention that I don’t want to be repetitive or boring (which so many blogs unfortunately, become after a while).

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Anyway, moral of the story – if there’s a colleague who’s bothering you, don’t wait for three years to set her in her place and show her that you want your relationship in the work place to be strictly professional. And this, of course, does not only apply to work colleagues!

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The power of Boredom

I am bored. Totally bored. Incessantly bored. Pervasively bored. Unobsfuscatingly bored.

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This does not mean I don’t have anything to do.

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In fact I have A LOT to do… which does not mean that I have any energy or inclination to do it.

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Apathy.com here I come!

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Anyways, maybe I’ll jolt myself a bit – here is a list of the things I have to do lol… oh me and my endless list-mania!

1. Check out the presentation I have to start giving throughout March and April to a total of 110 governmental nurses… Oh the joy

2. Check out documents about an Audit I have to start preparing as of next week… double joy

3.Start writing up the first draft for the first article about the Chateau de Lastours for the Polish website

4. Get my ass off this chair and go rinse my lunch container and plate

5. Call my aunt and uncle and ask how they are, as their dog died a few days ago and I was abroad at the time 😦

Those are IMMEDIATE issues which I must tackle… BUT… i am bored and tired and have no interest to move an inch!

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Fu******

Ennui and Boredom – Today’s Stream of Consciousness

Today is one of those days when I have absolutely no energy or interest in doing ANYTHING.

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I woke up, I got dressed, I came to work. I had coffee, I wrote two articles for my magazine, I sent a proposal to the Polish editor who’s compiling the tourist website about castles, and I researched a bit. I also proof-read some working documents and glowered at a couple of colleagues whom I don’t like. I got groped by the usual guy (don’t ask) and had a semi-serious shouting match with a Director about the issue of Spring hunting (which I’M TOTALLY SET AGAINST).

But… still… I kinda feel jaded. I don’t know why. Like a blank canvas or a yellowed leaf – totally uninterested in anything and everything.

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WTF seriously – is it because I totally loathe the narrator of the book I’m currently reading or what? Talking about Margaret Beaufort from Philippa Gregory’s ‘The Red Queen’ here. Now that’s a hateful bitch. What’s more I keep asking myself, how can a writer really capture the unreliable and irritating narration of someone so obviously misguided and twisted, while at the same time presenting a plausible and entertaining novel? Yesterday I watched the last Narnia movie ‘Voyage of the Dawn Trader’. For those of you who have read, and remember, the book – it is narrated by Eustace Pevensie, the damnably smart-ass and totally obtuse cousin of the four boys and girls we love and miss. Of course, half-way or so through the book, Eustace starts becoming a reasonably ok bloke, but up until that point, I’m sure every one of the novel’s readers absolutely hated the brat. And yet, the story-line and characters came through perfectly, even though it was obvious that the narrator was an unreliable one.

What’s the trick? Will I ever be able to do that?

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*sigh*

For the Bored… and the curious ;-p

Years ago, back when I first started working in an office, I was hooked on personal surveys and questionnaires. Basically I would look out for and search different ones, fill them up, then send them to all my friends for them to fill up and send them on in turn. Irritating huh? Whatever, I was bored ;p

Anyways, just came up across one in a blog I’m following, and I got backlashed by so many memories, i just had to fill it in. Will you? ;p

50 questions 50 answers.

Work clothes – black trousers and red jumper with a red and black scarf

2: Ever been in love? Yes

3: Ever had a terrible breakup? Yes

4: How tall are you? Around 5’5/6 i think

5: How much do you weigh? no idea… i try not to look at the scales

6: Any tattoos? yes, 3… and more to come!

7: Any piercings? 5 in my right ear, one in the left

8: Ever done an operation? Yes laser surgery, and partial toe nail removal

9: Favorite show? there are too many, don’t think i actually have one fav

10: Favorite bands? Evanescence, Within Temptation, Nightwish, Kamelot, and many other Gothic, Melodic and Harmonic Metal bands

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11: Something you miss? right now… bed

12: Favorite song? JMy Immortal – Evanescence

13: How old are you? 29

14: Zodiac sign? Saggitarius

15: Qualities you look for most in a partner? honesty, trustworthiness, intelligence and kindness

16: Favorite Quote? The fight is not over until you have won it – Robin Hobb

17: Favorite actor? Johnny Depp

18: Favorite color? Black and/or dark red

19: Loud music or soft?depends on my mood

20: Where do you go when you’re sad? To bed or near the sea

21: How long does it take you to shower? Around 10 mins

22: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? 15 to 30 mins

23: Ever been in a physical fight? yes though not by choice

24: Turn on? Black leather and long hair

25: Turn off? Arrogance and stupidity

26: The reason I made this blog? To write more

27: Fears? Getting pregnant, being trapped, heights

28: Last thing that made you cry? Dont remember

29: Last time you said you loved someone? Last night

30: Meaning behind your blog Name? ‘Moonsong’ has always been my screen name and ‘Darkly Dreaming’ is inspired by the first novel in the ‘Dexter’ series

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31: Last book you read? The Born Queen – Greg Keyes

32: The book you’re currently reading? Since I finished the last one this morning, nothing yet ;p

33: Last show you watched? One Foot in the Grave

34: Last person you talked to? A collegue

35: The relationship between you and the person you last texted? my bf

36: Favorite food? pizza and tortellini with white sauce

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37: Place you want to visit? there are so many! the whole world!!

38: Last place you were? home

39: Do you have a crush? I have a love ;p

41: Last time you were insulted? weekend before last -.-

42: Favorite flavor of sweet? orange

43: What instruments do you play? used to play piano a bit

44: Favorite piece of jewelry? my pentacle silver ring

45: Last sport you played? volleyball at school lol

46: Last song you sang? something yesterday while i showered, dont remember what

47: Favorite chat up line? I don’t like chatup lines, they’re cheesy.

48: Have you ever used it? nope

49: Last time you hung out with anyone? yest with my bf

50: Who should answer these questions next? Everyone who reads them!!

Happy Reading 1