forum Is this a good trope subversion??
Started by @jupiter-sun-of-sweater-town group

people_alt 57 followers

@jupiter-sun-of-sweater-town group

I know that a lot of tropes are really worn-out in YA, and I thought I'd try to do a subversion. You know the whole "kid with dead parents - GASP THE PARENT(S) AREN'T DEAD AND THEY'RE HERE YAY HAPPY FAMILY TOTALLY SAW IT COMING" trope? Well, I thought I'd set it up so it looks like that would be the case, and the kid in question is thrilled, then has to deal with his feelings afterwards when he realizes it's not his mom. Do you think this is a good trope subversion or should I cut this subplot?

@tiredandconfused group

I don't think I've seen as many of "kid with dead parents turns out to have living parents" than I have with "actually dead parents", so it might just be the books I've read but that doesn't seem as big of a trope to me. However, it is still something I see quite a bit, so it could be an interesting subversion. But honestly, it just really depends on the execution. You should think about if it fits with the rest of your story and your character. Does it help the themes and overall plot, or is it conflicting and hard to write in? But most importantly, is it fun for you to write and do you find it to be a compelling story line?

@jupiter-sun-of-sweater-town group

I think it would develop his character, and I also think it would be fun to write. I think I'll go with it!
(my slight bias against the "dead parents aren't actually dead" trope mostly comes from the movie Overcomer, which I enjoyed nonetheless, but as soon as the hospital guy said he was a runner, everyone I was with immeadiately said "oh, he's gonna be the girl's dad" and wow we were right)


In the book "In Other Lands" by Sarah Rees Brennan (spoilers), the "dead parents aren't actually dead" trope is flipped through revealing that yeah, the parent has been alive this whole time, but she just didn't care enough about her son to return to him, and would prefer he didn't exist. Which is a subversion on how the trope is supposed to be happy ending-like.

In your subversion, I think I can see it going faux happy ending, and then some sort of Coraline-esque twist when your character realizes that the lady isn't his mom. It would take a lot of deceit on the lady's part to make him believe she was his parent all along, after all.

@jupiter-sun-of-sweater-town group

Well, she's not exactly trying to pose as his mom and is completely unaware of what this guy is thinking. There just happen to be a lot of coincidences, but if they had all the facts, it would become apparent that she's not the mom. He just has his hopes up so high that he's crushed when he learns the truth, even though the woman in question is still very understanding and sympathetic.