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I recently stumbled across Kirsty Logan’s awesome list of her personal cliches (or, as she calls them, Kirsty Tropes) over at her blog. Her insights into her own writing made me laugh and nod my head in unison. Although I don’t share many of her personal cliches, I certainly have my own. In fact, I was going through some of my erotica recently in preparation for a reading, and was laughing at my own set of cliches, which seemed to be jumping out at me all over the place.

So, I thought it would be fun to make a list of the things that I return to again and again. Without further ado, here are…

Shanna Tropes:

  1. Really blue eyes, often described in terms of water, sky and snow
  2. Sex, sex, sex (even in my non-erotica)
  3. Characters who take forever to get it on
  4. Mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers and daughters
  5. Weight and food issues
  6. As objects: Food, jewelry (especially bracelets and earrings), specific bits of clothing
  7. Women on the edge of some life- or self-discovery
  8. Illness, imperfections, death
  9. Fairytales and myths (I share this one with Kirsty)
  10. Farms, forests, cities, lakes and other water forms
  11. White, lower-to-middle class, educated characters
  12. Small, private worlds
  13. Work, jobs, careers
  14. One- or two-scene stories
  15. Overboard language
  16. Animals
  17. Internal character dialogue and explanation

Things That Aren’t Around:

  1. Happy people
  2. Fathers
  3. Cultural references, world events, news, brand-name anything
  4. Suburbs
  5. Plot
  6. Dialogue
  7. Stories that cover long spans of time

I’m sure there are more, but these are the things I’ve noticed in the stuff that I’ve gone through recently.

What are your tropes or your lack thereof? I’d love to hear them!

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.


PS — Gorgeous blue-eyed image by this artist.