Created By: DragonQuestZ on September 7, 2009
Nuked

Sturgeons Tropes

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Tropes Are Not Bad, it's just that some have definitions that make it really hard to pull them off well, like Idiot Ball and most of the Bad Writing tropes.

This Index, on the other hand, is when a trope allows all the room a creative writer needs for good, or at least decent examples. It's just that those are rare with these tropes. Often it's not that the trope doesn't allow room for good examples, but seems to allow room for bad examples (any suggestions for how to phrase that better is welcome).

So these seem to be representations of Sturgeon's Law in trope form: 90 percent of the examples are crud. Nothing caused directly by the tropes. These are a fault of the writers.
  • Bowdlerise (Some good writers have been able to make clean versions about as good as the original material, it's just that most merely substitute something.)
  • Cut-and-Paste Translation (You can still make a decent story by only cutting and pasting what you need to, it's just that most force a story to fit what they want it to.)
  • Disneyfication (At it's heart, it's just retelling the story to appeal to that demographic, it's just that most change elements that many consider key to the stories.)
  • In-Name-Only (You can still tell a good story that is completely different than the source one, it's just that most end up telling weak stories.)
  • The Moral Substitute (It's just that most put the message ahead of the quality.)
  • Refuge in Vulgarity (It's just that most think the vulgar parts are jokes enough instead of telling jokes that happen to be vulgar.)
  • Running the Asylum (It's just that most fall into the pitfalls listed in the definition.)
  • Writer on Board (It's just that most use it to try to force their beliefs or the issues they have when writing, instead of incorporating those into a good narrative.)
Community Feedback Replies: 35
  • April 10, 2009
    Cosmetor
    No, an index that exists solely to attack tropes is not a good idea.
  • April 10, 2009
    Madrugada
    If it was to attack the tropes it lists, I'd agree with you completely, Cosmetor, but it might be worth having it if the intro can be made crystal-clear that it's not that these tropes are inherently bad, but that they are likely to have serious consequences for the work if they're done badly, are very tempting, and are very, very difficult to use well.

    The best thing to do might be to work on the description and see if it's even possible to write one that isn't an attack...
  • April 10, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    This isn't to attack tropes. I had a few points in the definition I forgot. I will correct that.
  • April 11, 2009
    Cosmetor
    The mass complaining is still a bad idea.
  • April 11, 2009
    Acacia
    Most of these already say in the trope descriptions that they frequently suck; this would just be a way to assemble those.
  • April 11, 2009
    KJMackley
    I suggested something similar before, mostly because I see so many tropes that shouldn't be bad but still have a negative connotation. If I had my way we wouldn't have tropes like So Bad Its Horrible because its become a dumping ground and Pot Hole for anything people don't like. In theory Tropes Are Not Bad. Even still, to a lot of people The Chick is synonymous with The Load and Damsel Scrappy. People fought hard to try and keep Katara off the list because they didn't want the show to have a "negative" trope.

    Lull Destruction mentions an example that Transformers Cybertron put in a lot of dialogue during the previously silent Stock Footage transformation sequences, which actually helped make those moments more bearable.
  • April 11, 2009
    Madrugada
    Noting that something is difficult is not complaining. This is noting that there are tropes that are notably difficult to use well.

    The Reset Button is a difficult trope to use effectively. Riding a unicycle is hard to do. Neither of those are complaining, they're simply stating a fact.

    Again, let's work on the introduction.
  • April 11, 2009
    Wyvernil
    Tropes Are Not Bad, but some tropes are often done badly.

    Bad Writing covers the tropes that ARE objectively bad (I.E. So Bad Its Horrible or Wall Banger), the subjective part being whether a specific example belongs there.
  • April 11, 2009
    Madrugada
    Then we already have this one. It's Bad Writing, which is a really misleading name.
  • April 11, 2009
    Madrugada
    Then we do already have this one, it's just got a really misleading name.
  • April 11, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    This is not bad writing. I would include Idiot Ball and Character Derailment if it was.
  • April 11, 2009
    Madrugada
    DQZ, How does it differ from Bad Writing?

    That's a list of tropes that are difficult to use well and which are often a sign of bad writing, as indicated by the fact that they have very few to no examples that are also good writing.

    This is a list of tropes where "90% of the examples are crap".

    Maybe it's the way you're describing it, but I'm not really seeing a difference.
  • April 11, 2009
    KJMackley
    There are three parts to a trope: Author Intent, Implimentation and Audience Reaction. For example: (Author Intent)- George Lucas created midichlorians as a reason why force potential is genetic, (Implimentation)- He used them as a method of reading Power Levels, (Audience Reaction)- Fans didn't like the implimentation. Bad Writing focuses on the Audience Reaction, which means some would label the above example a Wall Banger. This trope is saying that the Implimentation (how a Trope is used in the story) dictates its quality, so the above example is just Doing In The Wizard, it is rarely done right but it can be done.

    That said, there is a lot of similarity and overlap between these two tropes. Either Bad Writing could use an overhaul or do something so that there will be no (or little) misunderstanding.
  • April 27, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    Okay, new description up. Here's the old one to compare:

    "An index of tropes where Sturgeons Law is really apparent. As in ninety percent of the examples (more or less) are crap. This leads to some thinking these tropes are bad by definition. These are not (although some overlap with Bad Writing). They just happen to have few good examples.

    In short, these tropes are big reasons why tropers need to be reminded that Tropes Are Not Bad, just examples can be."
  • May 8, 2009
    bluepenguin
    Isn't a "good" Macekre a Woolseyism?
  • May 8, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    ^^ No, that's a misconception, that we need to remedy.
  • May 9, 2009
    Camacan
    The lead article rings alarm bells. Attacking works we don't like, that happen to conform to some trope we do like? Let's not.
  • May 9, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    How is listing the tropes attacking works? No names are given.

    And I forgot to note that this is meant to be an index (fixed). So it really does mean no works in particular will be attacked, unless a trope on the list does it on its own page.
  • May 9, 2009
    blackcat
  • May 9, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    Actually, that could work.
  • June 28, 2009
    berr
  • June 28, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    ^^ That makes it seem like it's about communism or Orwellian settings.
  • June 29, 2009
    Omar Karindu
    I have another proposal that might permit some of the basic idea of this trope an expression on the Wiki without inviting lots of negative Pot Hole use or the like; instead, make it about those relatively few works that have proven that Tropes Are Not Bad. In essence, it'd be a Sugar Wiki page. We could call it something like Trope Redeemers.

    Rather than media and shows, the headings would be Sturgeons Tropes candidates, under which examples of "getting it right" would be placed. In effect, it's an example bank for Tropes Are Not Bad ad at the same time the tropes on the page would, by the page's very nature, be clearly understood as Sturgeons Tropes for which only a few redemptive examples exist.
  • June 29, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    Could you reword that. I'm having trouble seeing what you're getting at.
  • June 29, 2009
    Omar Karindu
    Basically, a page of tropes that are usually not executed well, and under each such trope, the works where the trope actually is done well. So for instance, you'd have Running The Asylum and put Ronald D. Moore's Star Trek work under it; or Writer On Board and, say, Sinclair Lewis's anti-fascist It Can't Happen Here or somesuch.

    It would go on Sugar Wiki as a list of oft-hated tropes done well. It would thus demonstrate that Tropes Are Not Bad and provide a "bank" of examples thereof. Additionally, the more generous standards of Sugar Wiki would allow some potential Flame Bait or Thread Mode things to happen away from the pages for the so-called "Sturgeon Tropes." Examples from Trope Redeemer could than be introduced to their respective tropes' pages once established on the Sugar Wiki page for awhile.

    The wiki already has some pages that only exist because people seem to hate certain tropes. I'm thinking, for example, of stuff like Some Anvils Need To Be Dropped (basically just a way to say: Anvilicious but not crappy).
  • June 29, 2009
    NickBensema
    Omar hits the nail on the head. I actually can't imagine calling it anything but literally Trope Redeemer, since it would otherwise be so easy to miss the point.

    I imagine this will be incredibly fun to watch, as headings are created for tropes thought to be irredeemable, only to be thwarted by a critically-acclaimed and popular example that we kept forgetting about.
  • June 29, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    But also note that this is why the bad examples are especially hated, since they look even worse in comparison.
  • June 29, 2009
    berr
    Trope Redeemer sounds good,

    but I would also propose renaming and redirecting Bad Writing to the new name, so it can refer back to this trope.
  • July 10, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Complaining About A Trope Because Many Works You Don't Like Use It.
  • July 10, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    No, this is warning not to complain... unless you were suggesting that as a name, in which case it's too long.
  • July 10, 2009
    Some Guy
    There's a reason why Sturgeons Law doesn't have examples. It would be a subjective nightmare.
  • July 10, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    I'll add an explanation for each trope and why it isn't the definition that's bad. I'll just add that soon.
  • July 11, 2009
    Golden Darkness
    On a related note, there never seems to be good Moral Guardians of any sort.
  • July 15, 2009
    Andygal
    I think Oscar's idea is a pretty interesting idea. It could work.
  • July 15, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    What I'm planning on is an index.
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