Friday, December 20, 2013

Tropes I Don't Like (Part 1)— The Power Of Love

Today I'm starting a new recurring feature called Tropes I Don't Like. This is not a list of tropes that are bad, and I'm certainly not saying they can't be done extremely well. This is just a list of tropes I don't like, and therefore will not use in my writings.

Today's trope is The Power Of Love, but more generally, the concept of emotions having physical power.

This trope rubs me the wrong way in much the same way that religion rubs me the wrong way— it makes human experience the centerpiece of existence itself, saying, in essence, I feel it, therefore it must be physically potent. It registers strongly in my subjective experience, therefore its power must be objectively strong. What goes on in my head is perfectly reflective of the universe as a whole, therefore something that matters to me must matter to the universe at large. It privileges humanity to a grotesque level, and reduces everything else to a slightly overcomplicated human support system, which shatters my suspension of disbelief and makes me want to send very strongly worded missives to the responsible writers and their mums.

If a writer can pull off a story wherein humanity is objectively the most important thing in the universe without making me cringe, then this trope may slide but otherwise giving physical potency to human emotions is a trope I hate and will never use.

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