VALENTINE’S DAY: IS THE LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT TROPE IN FICTION CURSED?
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(This is a repost from July 2021)
What is it about the love at first sight trope that drives people mad ? Why is it sworn off by most novelist? The last time it was used by a novelist was 2008 in Suzanne Collins , Hungers Games . The last time it was used in a film was 2018’s Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation. And in 2017 for the TV Show Billions. And before 2008 when Suzanne Collins used the trope , it wasn’t used since 1977 in the book The Silmarillion by J R.R. Tolkien . So yeah fiction novelist simply do not use it anymore that much .
I ask again what is it about the love at first sight trope that all novelist swear against? Is this trope simply cursed ?
But first lets answer this question what is love at first sight as used in fiction?
Love at first sight is a common convention and trope within literature where a person feels immediately attracted to another upon meeting them for the first time. The term love at first sight originated from Greek mythology meaning madness from the gods and if you had it, it was a clear sign that you were affected by Cupid ‘s arrow . And if you were pierced by the love dart you would immediately be overwhelmed with desire and love sickness and become spellbound and charmed by the intended.
Examples of how this trope has been used is in:
- Romeo and Juliet
Even though these examples used the trope well some believe that the trope is difficult to write and is unable to be believable in a story. For a love at first sight storyline to actually work there needs to be a Plausible connection between the characters . But others believe the trope as fantasy so anything goes and so it’s easy for them to write. Moreover love at first sight simply does not and cannot exist but attraction and lust at first sight can.
And that is easily assessed to what people are really writing. But it easily becomes cliché if the writer is not careful . And so that’s what happens and that’s why the writer fails at writing this type of story.
The characters need to be attracted to each other and have chemistry enough that readers will care about the romance at hand. But the characters themselves also have to be interesting on their own reserves . If not the this love at first sight storyline can fall apart before it even gets started . Lastly in order for a full fledge plausible love at first sight story it can help if you develop the romance over time and show it subtly throughout the novel.
Okay so my answer to the earlier question is its not cursed it just merely overused and wrongly executed . There is no reason a writer cannot use it and turn the trope’s clichéness around like for instance Frozen did. They parodied the crap out of the trope and you can’t say you didn’t have a couple of laughs about it. I sure did.
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