A Predefined Message
The difference between real life and fiction isn't always so neat and clean. Sometimes, fiction parallels real life. Other times, real life parallels fiction. It can be tempting to use a site like this, whose purpose is to catalog and celebrate the tropes that are used in fiction, to make a point about Life, the Universe, and Everything.
Please try not to.
Where certain tropes are associated with real life consequences, such as Unfortunate Implications
makes note of the phenomenon. But that is not the place for essays about the history of stereotyping or its portrayal in the media. In some cases it's appropriate to post links to these things, but generally you should not be linking to or using TVTropes
to publish your own work, just like you wouldn't make Works pages for your own fan fiction.
Generally speaking, we try to avoid Real Life
examples, especially when a trope is being proposed on YKTTW
. We ask that you please do your best to provide at least three examples from fiction. These examples should have some explanation accompanying them so that any reader, particularly one not familiar with the work the example is from, can understand how the example is relevant in the context of the trope: No Zero Context Examples
should focus on the trope itself and how it is used in fiction; the article should not promote a particular ideology, theory, or make value judgments about society, politics, religion, culture, economics, etc
. Literary Agent Hypothesis
, for example, describes the Literary Agent Hypothesis.
But it's not intended as an argument for or against that hypothesis being applied to fiction in general or a particular work of fiction; it's just a description, and a list of examples. And that is what a good YKTTW
is: you should spend some time on your YKTTW
, so that other people here have quality to work with as we collectively refine that YKTTW
. This section of the site is like a workshop; but it's not a writer's workshop. We're not here to read fan fiction... or fan essays.
Finally, we're not a memetic cultural encyclopedia. We're a wiki of Tropes from Entertainment Media. Please respect the difference.