Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Strong Hero,Strong Heroine, Romance and Adventure Trope

My overarching trope is always the Strong Hero, with an equally Strong Heroine, throw in much adventure and the romance develops as the story unfolds.

Strong Hero: I happen to really like the alpha male Special Forces soldier type, the kind of person you want to have at your side, watching your six in bad situations. In my science fiction romance, the heroes so far have definitely fit this definition. But they're people first, with complicated lives, more than just the well trained "quiet professional". Here's what Tom Deverane says of himself in "Escape From Zulaire":

 “I went into the military because the abuse and slaughter of innocent civilians do bother me. At least in the service, I can do something to prevent atrocities.”

Turns out he’s the orphaned sole survivor of an alien attack on a Sectors colony planet and hence he’s dedicated his life to exacting revenge on the enemy.

My heroes in the ancient Egyptian paranormals are the Special Forces of their time – members of a regiment I invented (but which I bet every Pharaoh had), the toughest, best trained, most loyal men in the Black Lands, who wear the symbol of Horus the Falcon as their badge.

Strong Heroine: As I’ve discussed in this space before, I have no patience for the Too Stupid To Live (TSTL) heroine. The women in my novels are smart, brave, equal partners in a crisis. Whether she’s an intergalactic businesswomen or the chief priestess running an ancient Egyptian temple, she refuses to be coddled and protected while the guy goes out to fight the aliens or the demons (depending on the era LOL). She’s there. She’s resilient. Strong.

Adventure/Romance: yup, there will be a lot of both. I throw my characters into a bad situation getting worse, like being on a wrecked spaceliner counting down to destruction, or exiled to a realm where the demons roam, and they fight together to survive and solve the problems. But if there’s no romance I’m not interested in telling the story!

My favorite movies are usually science fiction – “Aliens”, “Terminator” – and sometimes you have
to be a shipper to actually detect the romance (Ripley and Hicks have chemistry but run out of time in my opinion LOL). You can see my tropes shining through there, yes?

A non- scifi movie I love is “Speed”, with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.  I think it’s a good example of my tropes at work, although I take issue with the oft-repeated argument that romances begun in extreme situations don’t last. In MY books they do!

What’s your favorite trope?

(Here's the trailer for "Speed". They don't give Sandra Bullock's character enough credit IMHO...)


  1. Like you, all my scifi romances involve extreme situations. My hero and heroine see the heart and soul of their companion and build something lasting.

  2. Sandra Bullock was SO good in that!

  3. Loved Speed! Hmm...those are my favorite tropes. I like taking known tropes and throwing them into unusual situations. My alternate history one has a "marriage of convenience" trope which is one of my favorites but I'm picky about it because I don't like it in contemporaries, only historicals.

    I've always said my idea of the perfect romance is Terminator where Kyle lives. And, that may actually happen in the upcoming movie if previews are to be believed.