I've given a lot of thought to my participation in the challenge, compiling an alphabetic list of topics that might be suitable fodder. In doing so, I realized I had a broad enough selection to narrow the list down into themed entries if I wanted to. So after a bit of meditation and mediation, I've decided that my A-Z entries will be themed around speculative fiction tropes.
What is Speculative Fiction?
Speculative fiction, to put it as broadly as possible, is fiction that deals with the fantastic. The genres most commonly associated with the term are Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. Most of my writing (and a great deal of the works I admire) falls under the former two.
What are Tropes?
Originally, the word trope referred to the use of figurative language in a literary work. Over the past few decades, however, the word has come to denote the use of a commonly recurring motif, plot device, or character archetype. For instance, J.R.R. Tolkien is widely regarded as the father of many common High Fantasy tropes, such as the fantastic races of Elves, Dwarves, and Orcs in The Lord of the Rings. Though he was drawing on myths and folklore for inspiration himself, his work was so influential that many fantasy works across books, film, and video games have used the Middle-earth mold to shape their own work.
So for the month of April, my blog will be devoted to exploring tropes and their use in speculative fiction of all mediums. I'll touch on some of my favorite examples, the many works in which they've appeared, and how I may have approached them in my own. Blogging this regularly is very new to me, so this is going to be tough. But with your encouragement (wink, wink), I just might get through this. I'll also be dropping by and lending support to as many of my fellow A-Zers as I can this month. I hope to read a lot of interesting new blogs and meet a lot of awesome new people.
The next time you hear from me, I'll be on a mad dash to "Z." Should be lots of fun getting there.