Hello friends, it’s Vera here today. 😄 As someone that really enjoys reading fanfiction – although, sadly, I haven’t had a lot of time for it recently – I have a lot of favorite fanfiction tropes. A while ago, I dedicated a post to a few of these tropes and even showed you some examples of published books that utilize these tropes. I loved working on that post, so I’ve been wanting to write part two for it, with a whole new set of tropes. If you’re interested in my previous post, click here; otherwise let’s jump into our current post. 😊
~ royalty ~
I’m going to be honest and admit that I’ve read some terrible royal romances – fanfiction and otherwise – but for the most part, this is a really fun trope. The trickiest part to get right with this trope is the power imbalance – for me, the characters either need to be on equal footing, or the power imbalance between them needs to be handled with care. When this aspect of a royal romance isn’t well-done, I get really frustrated. The coolest aspect of this trope is that it can be used in a variety of ways and genres – it can be used in fantasy, historical fiction, or even in a contemporary romance – so it’s really versatile.
As for recommendations, one of my favorite royalty romance series is Reluctant Royals by Alyssa Cole. The series consists of three full novels and two novellas, each of them being better than the previous one. I love all five couples we are introduced to in this series, and I cannot recommend these books enough to royal romance fans. I’d be remiss not to recommend The Princess Trap by Talia Hibbert, as she is one of my favorite romance authors and has never disappointed me before. Be mindful of the fact that The Princess Trap deals with manipulation and domestic abuse (not between the main couple.)
~ slow burn and pining~
Fanfiction writers are famous for being able to write incredibly slow-burn romances that are full of (mutual) pining… and you know what? I eat this trope up every. single. time. Two romance tropes where slow burn romance and pining are common are friends to lovers and enemies to lovers, which happen to be two of my all time favorite tropes.
Crier’s War by Nina Varela is one of my favorite duologies, and part of the reason for that is how well-written the romance is in it. It’s a fantasy novel with an enemies to lovers f/f romance, which is extremely slow-burn and is full of pining. My other recommendation is Here the Whole Time by Vitor Martins, a contemporary YA novel with an m/m romance that also utilizes the forced proximity trope, which is coincidentally another favorite of mine.
~ established relationship ~
Established relationship is a trope I love to see, no matter if I’m reading a published novel or fanfiction. There’s something really satisfying in following the characters as they get together and then being able to continue to see the way they develop as a couple and as individuals. I love seeing how a couple handles their disagreements, misunderstandings, and other issues they may face. Given that in most cases we need the characters to get together before they are an established couple, I brought you two series where the characters get together in the first book and then continue to develop as a couple in the sequels.
A Charm of Magpies by K.J. Charles follows an m/m couple who get to know each other and get together during the first book in the series. Later in the series, we can see the obstacles and the conflicts these two have to overcome to become a strong unit. For my second recommendation for this trope, I chose Hidden Legacy by Ilona Andrews. If I remember correctly, it takes some time for Nevada and Rogan to get together, but I still consider this a good recommendation, because their journey to becoming a couple is all about finding common ground and making adjustments for each other.
I realize that this trope can sound a bit misleading, so let me clarify what I mean by it! When I talk about the celebrity trope, I mean that a fictional character is written as if they were a celebrity, e.g. an actor. I’ve never read fanfiction based on real life celebrities, as I find the idea of that type of fanfiction intrusive and uncomfortable. Before I sat down to write this post, I wouldn’t necessarily have pointed to the celebrity trope as something I sought out, but thinking about it, some of my favorite fics have this trope.
As for published works, I’m not a massive fan of celebrity romance… or so I thought, because I was forced to realize that I have some awesome recommendations for this trope! If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich, a novel that follows members of a boy band, was one of my favorite books of 2021. No surprise there, Sophie Gonzales is a remarkable author and she has never disappointed me. Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade is a series that consists of two novels so far, with each book following a different couple. This might be the most perfect series for fanfiction lovers, as each book follows characters who love and write fanfiction.
~ let’s chat ~
Do you read fanfiction? Why / Why not? What are your favorite tropes – in fanfiction or otherwise? Have you read any of my recommendations?