OMG you guys. I found a thing.
First, I am a huge Neil Gaiman fan. None of what I’m about to share is intended to degrade him in any way. He and Ray Bradbury are my whole bookworm heart, for real.
I was listening to a podcast the other day, and they were debating whether writers should intentionally leverage tropes to draw in readers. If you don’t know, tropes are “overused” themes or devices. Kinda like a cliché. So then I asked myself if Neil Gaiman used tropes.
I commenced an internet search that landed me at a website called Tropedia. Hopefully, they don’t mind me grabbing a quick screenshot. I’ll share a link at the end.
This is the list they had for the talented Mr. Gaiman.
Is this…the Neil Gaiman formula???? Like what.
So some of these are self-explanatory. Others not so much.
Each trope listed has a link with a description and maybe an example. I haven’t read them all because my computer was choking on the site a bit. I probably need to look at it more on my phone or a tablet or something. Lotsa ads.
Did I add this list to my writing notes? Maaaaybe. *Defensively clutches writing notes binder closer to chest*
Is the list accurate? I do not know if every component is. I can tell you that I’ve read several of Gaiman’s books, and I recognize some of this stuff. They are parts of his vibe.
Do I think he is a generally “tropey” writer? I would say no. At this point in human history, many, many, many books and stories exist. Anything any writer brings to the table has been done at some level, in some form, probably long before that writer typed out their words. Whatever we write will probably qualify as a trope in someone’s eyes.
Anyway, that is all I have to say about that right now. Below is a link to Tropedia if you’d like to check out the Gaiman page or any other part of their site. I recommend doing so on a phone or tablet, because that version of their interface seems less cluttered.