So you've decided to write a story. You love to read ''(insert genre here)'', so you've decided to write ''(that genre again)''.

First, be sure to check out SoYouWantTo/WriteAStory for basic advice that holds across ''all'' genres. Then, get look over a rundown of the genre-specific tropes that will help you, hurt you, and guide you on your way.

Those guides follow this template:
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''All examples here are, well, examples of examples. Do not try to wrap your head around a story using all of the examples.''

!'''Necessary Tropes'''

The very nature of the genre dictates that your material ''will'' fall under these tropes. Learn to use them well.

* OurVampiresAreDifferent: Many, many writers have already messed with the nature of vampires, and no two novels present them exactly alike. Familiarize yourself with what has been done, and see if you can't create something new - or at least revive a long-forgotten version. It might also be a good idea to research the history of vampire legends online or at your local library.
* BigBad: Big epic quests like these tend to have Big Bads; it'd be hard not to have a major villain and still have a good, workable story. And the Big Bad doesn't have to be a person, either - but you can read more about that on the page itself.
* DuringTheWar: Well... yeah... hard to avoid this trope when you've decided to write a war story.


!'''Choices, Choices'''

These tropes cover a wide spectrum of choices regarding a certain element of your story, and you're going to have to pick a spot somewhere on that spectrum. Unless we've forgotten to include something, and you can spot it, because in that case you might actually surprise us after all.

* '''Death:''' From NeverSayDie through RedShirtArmy to AnyoneCanDie (or even KillEmAll), you're going to have to decide to what degree death can affect the characters you've created. Don't forget the death of villains, too, from ThouShaltNotKill to ShootTheDog and so forth.
* The SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Just how idealistic ''is'' your story's worldview? And to what extent do the characters agree with this? Cynics in an Idealistic world may be funny; Idealistics in a Cynical world, decidedly less so.

''Note: Depending on how the Choices section plays out, it might get pulled over to the genre-free page after all.''

!'''Pitfalls'''

Watch out for these tropes! They're bad news - or, well, at least they're tropes you generally want to avoid - and they're particularly common in your chosen genre.

* {{Glurge}}: Any heartwarming story has the chance of descending into utter glurge, and you should study the examples to get an idea on how to spot it and, more importantly, how to avoid it.
* PurpleProse: Many Romances fall prey to flowery writing that detracts from the story and often makes it difficult to even figure out what is going on. Then again, there are those who defend at least a certain amount of flowery writing... and I wish I could recall the name of the "How to Write Romance" books I found that discussed the matter, so you could read the defense for yourself.
* MarySue: Too many fanfic authors fall prey to this one. Not that a MarySue can't be [[Webcomic/GirlGenius done well]]....
* Your new RealityTV show? For the love of all that's worth watching, ''please'' find a way to minimize [[strike:{{Filleritis}}]] {{Filler}}.

!'''Potential Subversions'''

These tropes are in common use throughout the genre, so we'll forgive you if you use them - but if you can think of a good way to subvert, invert, or just plain ''a''vert them, then you just might be able to start a new [[FollowTheLeader trend]]....

* SpaceIsAnOcean: Okay, your average SpaceWestern rides along on this wave, but isn't there some way you can reinvent the analogy, the terminology...?
* LivingInAFurnitureStore: Yes, there's good reason to not make things too messy when you're filming a SitCom, and it's not like we're going to notice it... unless you call our attention to it, of course.

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!'''Writers' Lounge'''


!!'''Suggested Themes and Aesops'''

* AfterTheEnd: You could go with an anti-nuclear-weapon Aesop, a total, Gandhi-esque pacifism Aesop... an "if we all work together we can survive and bounce back from anything" Aesop (hey, it worked quite well in ''Wall-E'')....
* That cynical TabletopRPG might use the theme of CrapsackWorld to underscore everything that happens, [[DarkFantasy perhaps coupled with]] HumansAreBastards.


!!'''Potential Motifs'''

* Vampire novel means lots of roses and blood.
* If you want your CosmicHorror story to ''really'' [[ParanoiaFuel creep your audience out]], make sure to throw in lots of ''eyes''. And maybe an EyeScream to boot.
** Tentacles will do too. Be they CombatTentacles or the other kind, tentacles tend to freak people out.
*** Ofcourse, why not have both? Or in a true Lovecraftian style, create a monter so horrible the protagonist is unable to even describe it, other than saying it had lots of tentacles, eyes and pointy teeth.


!!'''Suggested Plots'''

* Your High School SitCom could include such plots as TwoTimerDate, InWithTheInCrowd, FeudEpisode, and even HorribleCampingTrip.
* A fantasy/horror piece that's heavy on Telepathy and MindManipulation? Try FakeMemories, GrandTheftMe, AmnesiaDanger, JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind, and OutOfCharacterAlert.

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!'''Departments'''


!!'''Set Designer''' / '''Location Scout'''

* Given that you're after a HeroicFantasy, you'll want to look into TheKingdom, TheLostWoods, and {{Ruritania}}.
* Lemme see, for the classic BigBad we have the ElaborateUndergroundBase, the EvilTowerOfOminousness, or, if you prefer, go even bigger with TheEmpire.


!!'''Props Department'''

* Spy thriller, eh? You'll need to look at some [[GunsAndGunplayTropes weapons]]: I suggest either CoolGuns or RareGuns, but maybe RevolversAreJustBetter... and let's not forget some backup, like RazorFloss. Then you'll need equipment: a GrapplingHookPistol, a ShoePhone....
* Dark magicks require dark regeants. Let's set you up with the GreatBigBookOfEverything, a MagicWand, a CrystalBall, and your own pantry full of spell ingredients including a year's supply of EyeOfNewt.
* HeroicFantasy: Take up the tome of WeaponOfChoice and consider it well.


!!'''Costume Designer'''

* Any school-based anime worth its salt needs the RedArmbandOfLeadership and at least one example of TransferStudentUniforms.
* Superhero uniforms, superhero uniforms... ah! there we go. Let's see, if you want to avoid spandex and tights, there's always CivvieSpandex, or then again the BadassLongcoat; and of course you'll want to disguise your face, so let me suggest CoolShades (or SinisterShades), maybe an ExpressiveMask....


!!'''Casting Director'''

* Well, for a heroic quest, you might go with HeterosexualLifePartners, the PowerTrio, the FourGirlEnsemble, the FiveManBand....
* For the Western, choose from among TheDrifter, TheGunslinger, the MountainMan, TheGambler, the NobleSavage...


!!'''Stunt Department'''

* Your spy thriller could benefit from some good moves: DressingAsTheEnemy, a CeilingCling, maybe some JuggleFu... and if you want to get ''really'' fancy, add in some LeParkour.
* Romantic Anime, we're looking at maybe a MeetCute, a YawnAndReach, maybe an IndirectKiss....

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!'''Extra Credit'''

Now, if you're really looking to bring up the quality of your work, head off to your local library (or jump on your computer... wait, you're already there) to study how the best (and worst) have managed to make it work:


!!'''The Greats'''

* If you ever wanted [[{{Anvilicious}} An]] [[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped Anvil]] about the value of education dropped as well as an anvil ever ''could'' be dropped, look no further than ''ThePhantomTollbooth''.
* Tired of your friends teasing you about how extensive your world-building is and how it's all really a waste of time? [[TheLordOfTheRings Tolkien]] did it right, and boy, did he ever pile on the detail.


!!'''The Epic Fails'''

* Literature/HarryPotter Fanfiction: Here's a short list of {{MST}}ings of bad fics, so you can tell just where they went wrong.
* So you want to adapt a video game story to a movie script, eh? Let me walk you over to this section of Creator/UweBoll movies....
* I'm not saying ''Series/AmericanIdol'' is necessarily ''bad'' (and in fact I do enjoy it!), but if you want to avoid [[strike:{{Filleritis}}]] {{Filler}}, give it an objective look to see (1) what the audience really wants to see and (2) all the many things they don't care about that you could easily cut out of the program.
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Here are the section headers for convenience. Edit this page and copy out the header markup below to paste into your new article. You don't have to fill out all of them.

!'''Necessary Tropes'''
!'''Choices, Choices'''
!'''Pitfalls'''
!'''Potential Subversions'''
!'''Writers' Lounge'''
!!'''Suggested Themes and Aesops'''
!!'''Potential Motifs'''
!!'''Suggested Plots'''
!'''Departments'''
!!'''Set Designer''' / '''Location Scout'''
!!'''Props Department'''
!!'''Costume Designer'''
!!'''Casting Director'''
!!'''Stunt Department'''
!'''Extra Credit'''
!!'''The Greats'''
!!'''The Epic Fails'''