Every genre has its tropes, the patterns that readers expect from a story. Today I wanted to cover the main scenarios found in spanking erotic romance, which is, itself, a sub-set of BDSM erotic romance.
Hate at First Sight: In this scenario, the two (or more) characters detest one another so much that you just KNOW they’re going to end up together. It’s often combined with one of the other tropes, below. There are so many examples of this that it would be difficult to pick one specifically, although if this trope works properly, both characters need to be likeable (to end up with a satisfying HEA), so a misunderstanding is usually used to make this trope work.
Sold/Gifted/Sent/Given/Kidnapped: This is a VERY popular sci-fi trope, but has many different names, because Amazon basically dictates what can and can’t happen in books these days, and Amazon doesn’t like anyone using “Kidnapped” in the title (unless you’re R.L. Stevenson, presumably, because they’re still selling “Kidnapped!”). To get around this, there are lots of books where the heroine has been gifted, given or sent to the hero. The biggest challenge with this sort of story is this: What sort of a crap-ass bastard alphahole ACCEPTS a gifted or kidnapped woman?! And why doesn’t he INSTANTLY set her free when she naturally resists?!* Loki Renard is very good at exploring both points of view of the male and female main characters in her stories, and The Alien’s Leash is a good example of how the whole “kidnapped” trope can work with a likeable (but still very much in control) main male character.
Rescued: This is the opposite of kidnapped, and is more common in sweet romance. The hero is a traditional hero who wants to save the heroine from some circumstance she can’t overcome on her own. It’s not the most popular trope these days, because kidnapping is WAY sexier for BDSM purposes (damn you, Amazon, with your sudden but inevitable book title rules) and fits more with the fantasy of being made to do something you don’t want to do. A rescuer is less likely to push your limits. An example of a rescue which led to a more hardcore relationship can be found in the first book of my sci-fi spanking romance series, Her Daddy and Her Master.
Marriage of convenience: There are External Reasons (TM) why a heroine needs to marry a hero. It’s a very popular trope for historical romance or western (historical) romance, and historical spanking romance is no exception. It’s especially good where consent is dubious, because the institution of marriage (TM) implies some sort of relationship between the two main characters. Obviously, the main snag with this type of story is that you know they’re getting a HEA whether they like it or not… but then again, that’s not really a snag, is it? A good example of a marriage of convenience can be found in Amelia Smarts’ Handling Susannah.
Of course, this is all for spanking erotic romance, not for erotica, which has a different set of tropes and where, generally speaking, anything goes (as long as Amazon permits it), heroes don’t have to be likeable and ever afters don’t have to be happy. There are other tropes, as well, but these ones come up very often in spanking erotic romance. Which is your favourite?
Lots of Love,
*To clarify my own point of view on the whole “kidnapped” trope: Mmmm… kidnapped… [Homer Simpson gurgle]. I mean… not in real life,** but in a story it’s HOT AS FUCK when someone gets this one right. Especially because it so naturally lends itself to the hate at first sight trope.
**Unless you’re The Doctor, and even then, Colin Baker can fuck right back off to Gallifrey with Matt Smith, but Tom Baker will find me hiding in his pocket under a bag of Jelly Babies. An interstellar PhD will get you nowhere with me if you’re an asshat. Confused? Here’s a list of people who played The Doctor from Doctor Who. Does anyone know if there’s a spanking erotica fanfic version of the episode The Five Doctors? Because OMFG that should be a thing… OK, maybe I’m getting distracted here…AHEM.
Articles in this series:
Spanking writing prompts
Erotic romance: Where should the story begin?
The main spanking scenarios for spanking erotic romance writers
Erotica words for spanking and anal sex writers in BDSM erotic romance
Naming the characters in your BDSM erotic romance
How to make a Twitter advert for erotic romance authors
How to make your erotica or erotic romance advert shine!