Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Website Review –

Website Review
Fiction Writing Help Guide
(and so much more)


Want to write good fiction? Want to write, research your subject, and be entertained while doing so? Then head on over to and get lost for a week or two browsing the immense catalog of available tropes. What is, you ask? Simply put it’s an encyclopedic index of the “tricks of the trade” for writing fiction. It’s a guide for “what not to do, what to do, what to look out for, and what to avoid” when you’re writing and researching your work of fiction. (Note, according to the site: “Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members' minds and expectations.”) All will become very clear once you start delving into this amazing site. And, don’t be put off by the name either, while it’s called “TV Tropes” the site covers and lists examples from every branch of entertainment you could possibly name, including: anime and manga, comic books, fan fic, literature, film, live-action TV, music, webcomics, video games, Western animation, and even Real Life. Want to know about the clichés concerning ammunition or weapons, the worst plot devices, gods or deities, specific apocalypse types, alien classes, or any other subject under the sun? Then this is the place for you. I really can’t remember ever finding such a useful, humorous, intelligent, and complete writing tool as this website. And, this is by no means an exaggeration!

Specifically, I suggest you check out the “Speculative Fiction category of the site (left-hand sidebar near the bottom). You’ll find hundreds of subjects including tropes on Area 51, Alien Autopsy, Benevolent Alien Invasion, Captain's Log, Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu? , and  The End of the World as We Know It, to name just a few. This single list alone will keep you busy for many, many days. Not only will you become educated in the myriad ways Area 51 has been used in entertainment but you’ll also learn why Every Bullet is a Tracer and why All Myths Are True. There’s even an entire catalog of Discovery Channel Mythbusters tropes found here.

Some of my favorite Speculative Fiction topics include: The Grand List of Overused Science Fiction Clichés , The Turkey City Lexicon , Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy , Did Not Do the Research  (which includes hundreds of sub-tropes), and Apocalypse How (which defines the various categories of apocalyptic devastation.)

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time you’ll know that in the five years I’ve been posting to Blogger I’ve never reviewed a website before. That alone makes very special. I spend a lot of time reading and writing book reviews, my true passion, that I sometimes forget to note some of the more interesting things I’ve found. Not this time! When I found this site I knew I had  share it with you. So, here’s me telling you with complete confidence that I have never, ever run across a subject-dedicated website as entertaining, fascinating, and informative as this. is a fantastic tool for fiction writers and an entertaining place for anyone interested in the written word. There truly is something for everyone here. Trust me, you’ll get lost in its pages for days and thank me for it later. After visiting I dare you to come back here and not post something positive about TV Tropes in the comments…

6 freakin’ awesome stars out of 6

The Alternative
Southeast Wisconsin

The website can be found here:


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