Who Needs an MFA When You Have This Literary Fiction Trope Checklist?

Include all 25 tropes and you'll probably get a Pulitzer

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters

Writing literary fiction stories? Forget what you’ve learned about complex characters and earned endings. What you really need is to include the required tropes. To help you out, we’ve created this handy checklist.

Literary Fiction Trope Checklist

_____ 1. Starts with character waking up

_____ 2. Starts with character looking out of window, describing scenery

_____ 3. Protagonist is writer with writer’s block

_____ 4. Protagonist teaches English comp; hates self

_____ 5. Death of child/miscarriage in past no one talks about

_____ 6. Character describes self in mirror 

_____ 7. Character describes self in window

_____ 8. Character describes self in polished spoon

_____ 9. Taste of blood described as metallic 

_____ 10. Woman who looks good without trying compared to female protagonist who looks bad despite trying

_____ 11. Main character drives to ex’s house and watches through window

_____ 12. Shoebox of letters/keepsakes under bed

_____ 13. Story is a story protagonist is writing

_____ 14. Wise child

_____ 15. White savior

_____ 16. Villain who is kind to pet

_____ 17. Staring at floor/staring over shoulder/staring into middle distance

_____ 18. Refrigerator empty except for beer/spoiled milk

_____ 19. Scene in writing workshop

_____ 20. Scene in dirty trailer

_____ 21. Dogs bark in distance

_____ 22. Upset character barfs

_____ 23. Depressed character cuts/takes to bed

_____ 24. Therapist quoted 

_____ 25. It was all a dream

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