Many people don’t start their novel or other creative endeavor because they’re worried about what other people will think. In one of my favourite books, Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the notion of creative entitlement. She reinforces that every person on earth is a creative being with a unique voice. There are no new ideas, only new perspectives and approaches to retelling old ones.
I’d be willing to wager that you’ve read a book recently only to think, “this feels familiar.” And of course it does. Genre fiction uses familiar beats and common tropes that allow readers to make immediate connections.
I could never write an exhaustive list of tropes used in romance novels because there are simply too many. However, I’ll take the ones I explored in Sweet Redemption as examples: enemies to lovers, marriage of convenience and class warfare.
Some romance readers only read their favourite tropes. Even for those who like to experiment, there are still expectations that come with the genre. Romance books have a happily ever after or happily for now in the same way that mysteries are solved in crime novels. Imagine the detective said, “meh, I tried, I’m just going to let this one go.” The reader would be pretty disappointed, right?
Everyone has creative entitlement to provide their own takes on these familiar ideas. When someone picks up an enemies to lovers book, they will immediately understand the premise. The initial hatred may be strong, but eventually these two people will end up together. For the class warfare in Sweet Redemption, I didn’t use the “baby and billionaire” spin. Instead, Brooklyn is rich and Trevor is a working class hero.
I write for a living as an executive ghostwriter in the corporate space and have two writing-related degrees. But that doesn’t automatically earn my place at the table. I know several authors who didn’t finish college and others who have unrelated degrees. If you have a story to tell and a unique voice, then you have creative entitlement to tell it.
What is your creative hobby?
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