Follow TV Tropes

Ask The Tropers

Go To

Have a question about how the TVTropes wiki works? No one knows this community better than the people in it, so ask away! Ask the Tropers is the page you come to when you have a question burning in your brain and the support pages didn't help. It's not for everything, though. For a list of all the resources for your questions, click here.

Ask the Tropers:

Trope Related Question:

Make Private (For security bugs or stuff only for moderators)

12th Feb, 2020 07:44:06 PM

Well, Square Peg, Round Trope is exclusively about writing on this wiki while Bad Writing Index (mostly) cover writing of other work. So it's beyond scope of Administrivia namepace.

Edited by Kuruni
13th Feb, 2020 03:05:20 AM

I don't think Bad Writing Index should be moved to Administrivia, since, as previously mentioned, it's not primarily about wiki editing. However, if it's attracting questionable edits, perhaps locking it (while leaving it in Main/) would be a good idea, especially due to the index's nature.

Edited by GastonRabbit
13th Feb, 2020 04:19:05 AM

The very existence of the Bad Writing Index is somewhat dubious, IMO, so I have no clue why it's apparently open for anyone to edit. Kind of goes against our whole thing.

Edited by nrjxll
13th Feb, 2020 06:20:12 AM

I thought we highlight Tropes Are Not Bad.

So branding some on the bad writing index seems weird.

13th Feb, 2020 11:11:09 AM

I think it predates our enforcement of Tropes Are Not Bad. Some overhaul and cleanup to bring it up to modern standards would be appreciated.

I think all added tropes should be approved somewhere first as being on that index is the biggest condemnation this wiki can give a trope (as anything so bad as to be deleted aren't acknowledged beyond why we don't acknowledge them). If so we should probably go over the exiting index to make sure all the currently listed tropes are in fact bad writing.

Edited by Ferot_Dreadnaught
13th Feb, 2020 12:01:37 PM

I've always thought it was a bit contradictory, too. The only section that isn't either covered by Flame Bait or is otherwise too subjective, is the "Tv Tropes Troubles" one... a list of Administrivia pages.

13th Feb, 2020 12:39:26 PM

I don't feel like Bad Writing Index needs to be cut or otherwise removed, which seems to be where this conversation is going. I mean, just because something is bad does not mean people are angry or hateful when they talk about it. For example, when people talk about the "bad film" genre, they are not necessarily complaining. You can tell because the corresponding trope article we have on the (general) subject is So Bad, It's Good. My point being that examining what makes a work "bad" (or "bad writing" as the case may be) does not necessarily go against The Goals of TV Tropes, as they are — for better or worse — tropes used to tell stories.

RE: Adding Tropes Needing Approval: I don't think more bureaucracy would be helpful. I know people have argued against more bureaucracy for other projects in the past.

RE: Space Whale Aesop being added several times. I think — with moderator approval — there needs to be a (few) commented-out note(s) directing tropers to the discussion page, warning them that if they add something that has been discussed and rejected already, then they may find themselves banned for vandalism. The note(s) could also warn them not to add back what was already removed, as that would be an Edit War and a bannable offense.

13th Feb, 2020 12:44:37 PM

Edit: Okay, I may have misunderstood the index's purpose a little, but I still think having this index is inherently complaining about these tropes existing, and the note about Tropes Are Tools was added after-the-fact. The original intention did seem to be saying "here are bad tropes", and having an entire index called "Bad Writing" comes off as bashy even if the idea isn't to bash.

Edited by WarJay77
13th Feb, 2020 12:45:47 PM

I think people are misunderstanding what it means for a trope to be on the Bad Writing Index - it doesn't mean that the tropes are bad - because Tropes Are Tools - it only means that the listed tropes are often used in bad writing. While almost ANY trope can be used in bad writing, these tropes tend to be used more often than the rest. That does not make the tropes themselves bad - there's plenty of GOOD writing that also uses the same tropes.

13th Feb, 2020 01:24:33 PM

^Exactly.

I feel like it should be kept because it has merit (i.e. helping novice writers learn what to avoid if they want their works to be taken seriously.) Though maybe it shouldn't be an index and maybe more of a Useful Notes page or something.

13th Feb, 2020 01:42:39 PM

I can concede that tropers have a hard time generally viewing the word "bad" in a neutral way, despite my above argument that things like So Bad, It's Good and the bad-film genre exist. I can see how the name makes it come off as bashing these tropes, especially as we've had things like "Tropes Are Not Bad" where "bad" generally relates to bashing and complaining.

It may be worth a TRS effort to rename it to Poor Writing Index (or Index Of Poor Writing) and to work on a new description, and then a (short-term) clean-up effort to sort through complaining. It's notable that this used to be called Bad Writing until April 2012 and then the Tropes Are Tools note was added in December 2013. Also, there was a TRS effort in 2011 that went nowhere (here).

I feel that parts of my above argument could be included in the new description. (That said, I don't want people thinking I've changed my mind about it not being removed/cut. I still think that it fits perfectly with The Goals of TV Tropes and that there's little reason to cut it. Also note how many inbounds it and its redirect have.)

13th Feb, 2020 03:10:36 PM

"Poor Writing" and "Bad Writing" are too similar to even bother, in my opinion. No matter what word we use ("Bad", "Poor", "Lackluster", "Subpar", "Problematic", etc.) as long as the term itself is meant to invoke a negative comparison to something else (allegedly "good" writing), it will inevitably be used to complain about something.

Personally, I'm pretty darn indiffrent about the validity of Bad Writing Index. I've always been of the mind that this wiki goes overboard in trying to enforce neutrality and welcome its inclusion, and I feel that Bad Writing Index does a good job of lumping together tropes with inherently strong negative implications. On the other hand, though, I won't lose sleep if it's gone.

13th Feb, 2020 03:50:22 PM

A rename will not change that uses of the tropes on the index ARE often viewed negatively. Doesn't mean the tropes themselves are bad. The blurbs read like "use these with care", not "they're always bad".

13th Feb, 2020 04:26:48 PM

It has 34,757 inbounds, enough to warrant keeping in some form. Thoughts:

  • Rename “Tropes Associated With Bad Writing”, hopefully this will clarify their use.
  • Require listed tropes include how to avoid them and/or better alternatives, at least when applicable. Or wildly held examples of when it was done well. That would limit examples to the constructive criticism that it seem we agree this index should be.

Unless anyone objects, I’ll remove No Ending as 1. It confused bad/unliked with bad quality (Jerkass shows unlikeable isn’t innately bad writing) 2. It sound like it’s only bad under a specific use when this is about tropes viewed bad in general 3. I think there’s enough well received examples, or when the described unsatisfaction was intentional, to be bad writing. Cut?

13th Feb, 2020 06:05:08 PM

I've written a description rewrite on my laptop that I can post later.

I think we need to get rid of tropes that are better classified as "annoying," as that would be Pet-Peeve Trope which is itself an exampleless Trope Trope. We could also remove the list of tropes that are considered bad wiki writing and move then to Administrivia under "Don'ts."

13th Feb, 2020 09:59:24 PM

How about adding this to the Bad Writing Index?

"Just because a trope invokes a "bad" feeling such as dislike (Jerkass), disappointment (Anticlimax, Downer Ending), or dissatisfaction (No Ending) doesn't make it bad writing as they are intended to produce those feelings. Tropes on this list produce bad feelings as unintentional byproducts thus detracting from the intended emotional outcome, hence being considered bad writing."

How that as an attempt to quantity what makes a trope bad writing? At best the intended emotional response is in spite of those tropes.

Edited by Ferot_Dreadnaught
13th Feb, 2020 10:01:11 PM

^Not bad, though I'd probably add a Tropes Are Tools in there if there isn't already one on the page.

EDIT: Never mind, it is.

Edited by thecarolinabull01
14th Feb, 2020 05:43:17 AM

^^ That is really impressive.

14th Feb, 2020 09:05:00 AM

Added it per your approval.

Thoughts on if the following are bad writing?

  • Fantastic Aesop and Space Whale Aesop: Cut before as they can serve as good allegories for more abstract concepts that can't be as readily depicted. When they're bad due to being too far removed from real-life applicability that's covered by Clueless Aesop.

14th Feb, 2020 10:56:01 AM

Nobody's (edit: except War Jay (sorry)) commented on removing the "TV Tropes Troubles" section, and I feel like we really should. Being a Trope Trope is not the same as being an index for regular tropes. Also, I feel that puzzle design and game coding do not belong on this page, as they are not generally considered to be in the realm of "writing." A game's "writing" and "coding" are different crafts entirely, while a puzzle's design is often a matter of visual or logical design rather than a rhetoric one.


As I said before, I already wrote a proposed revision to the description. Here it is, and I incorporated Ferot's addition. Note that I included the "no puzzle designs or game coding," for the above reasons. It can be removed if y'all think those sorts of entries should stay... In my revision, I also made it clear that what would otherwise be in the "TV Tropes Troubles" should go in Administrivia. Again, that can easily be removed should we ultimately decide those entries should stay.

I also made note of Unreliable Narrator, which could be used to excuse any of the "designated" tropes, though I agree that those are generally examples of bad writing. Just not when there's a valid excuse for their presence in the story, like an UN.

Any work of fiction can have poor writing, and in some cases, works are loved for their poorly written plots, characters, and settings. In part for that reason, and because it is certainly easier to identify "bad" writing than "good" writing, this index lists tropes commonly associated with poor writing — poorly written plots, characters, and settings. It should be noted that this index does not include poorly designed elements of a work, such as puzzle designs or game coding.

Merely being an element of poor writing does not necessarily make a trope "bad." These tropes can be used intentionally to create a parody or a comedy. Some uses of these tropes may be to create a confusing, eccentric effect. Alternatively, some writers may be attempting to be "innovative" or to find their own style. It's also possible that the creator intended the audience to have "bad" feelings, such as disliking a rude character, or feeling disappointment, sad, or even dissatisfied about the ending. Sometimes, though, these tropes can be used unintentionally. Tropes on this list produce "bad" feelings as unintentional byproducts, thus detracting from the intended emotional outcome, hence being considered bad writing.

It should also be noted that when a character is an Unreliable Narrator, it may be that the Designated Villain or Hero is "designated" incorrectly In-Universe. The inclusion of these tropes — and others like them — assumes there's no Unreliable Narrator to excuse them.

When discussing tropes of poor writing, we do not have to be hateful or angry about works that use these tropes. Recall that we here at TV Tropes collect examples of So Bad, It's Good because it is possible for these tropes to be used well, or at least used in an entertaining way. Film critics and scholars even have a term for movies that are So Bad, It's Good: "bad-film." Please keep all this in mind while perusing this index.

If you are here looking for tropes people hate, see Flame Bait. For tropes about things people seem to hate, see Scrappy Index. Creator's Apathy is for when the creator admits to not caring enough to write well. If you are looking for bad wiki writing, please see the "Don'ts" section on Administrivia.

Note: Examining what makes a work "bad" or "poorly written" does not necessarily go against The Goals of TV Tropes, as they are — for better or worse — tropes used to tell stories.

Edited by WaterBlap
14th Feb, 2020 11:05:24 AM

^ I commented on that section :(

But yeah, it absolutely needs to go, and I agree with the rest of your post too.

14th Feb, 2020 08:24:24 PM

Although we already have How to Write an Example, it's very long. Moving TV Tropes Troubles section to new article in Administrivia namespace to serve as quick list of "how not to do it" would be useful.

15th Feb, 2020 05:14:05 AM

I also feel we should not use the term "index", as that is meant to indicate an exhaustive listing of topics in a volume. This is more a list of often associated topics.

16th Feb, 2020 01:32:47 AM

I think this kind of general discussion is not appropriate for Ask The Tropers. Use the discussion page or the forums, I'd say.

16th Feb, 2020 01:34:55 AM

^ Yeah, I think we can move this to Outdated Pages, or another Wiki Talk thread.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report