Three Tropes I’m Currently Using

I like to say that there really aren’t bad cliches in writing, there are simply tropes that are easy to do badly.  It would actually be very hard for me to pick just three as favorites.  However, here’s three that have been on my mind lately:

“One’s an X.  One’s a Y. Together, They Fight Crime!”

Action Mom

Great Detective

Why these three?  Because they’re put into play in a book coming out on July 7th: A Murder of Mages.

Satrine Rainey—former street rat, ex-spy, mother of two, and wife to a Constabulary Inspector who lies on the edge of death, injured in the line of duty—has been forced to fake her way into the post of Constabulary Inspector to support her family.

Minox Welling is a brilliant, unorthodox Inspector and an Uncircled mage—almost a crime in itself. Nicknamed “the jinx” because of the misfortunes that seem to befall anyone around him, Minox has been partnered with Satrine because no one else will work with either of them.

Their first case together—the ritual murder of a Circled mage—sends Satrine back to the streets she grew up on and brings Minox face-to-face with mage politics he’s desperate to avoid. As the body count rises, Satrine and Minox must race to catch the killer before their own secrets are exposed and they, too, become targets.


Now, A Murder of Mages is not a sequel to The Thorn of Dentonhill, but it is also set in the city of Maradaine, and astute readers will see the threads of connection.  But it is its own story, that can be read independently of Thorn.  Of course, my utterly objective, unbiased opinion is that you should read them both.


  1. So will you be doing a mass of books surrounding Maradine? If so that’s pretty awesome! I’m nervous when using tropes, often I find myself using Japanese anime tropes due to my stories mirroring that type of action. My story features mechas so…But yeah, a pretty awesome story since it’s featuring a unique hero. Or should I use heroine? I never like using that word since it looks like the drug, and I know that sounds stupid-

    I’m shutting up now.

    1. The plan (at least MY plan, and we’ll see how it goes) is that there will be many books focusing on a handful of different characters in Maradaine. Thorn and Murder both represent the first-of-many for two respective Maradaine series.

      Tropes are kind of unavoidable, because they form the basic building blocks of stories. Like, if you manage to not use ANY, you’ll probably have something that’s not recognizable as a story. It’s whether you use them well or not.

      Heroine is a perfectly good word which I fully endorse the use of.

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