Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Website/Favorite Things: TV Tropes

Hello, I'm back! Sorry that there was no post yesterday; I was out of town and found myself without Internet access. It was actually a very nice little getaway: did some shopping, spent time with my family, and generally just got to relax and have fun. But more on that tomorrow. Wednesdays are going to be my "off-topic" day when there is no site news.

So...TV Tropes. Guaranteed to waste hours and hours of your time! It is a collection of all of the "tricks of the trade" for writing fiction. They began with television, but now they have books, movies, cartoon shows, pro wrestling, you name it.

There are two main types of pages: pages for works and pages for tropes. Pages for tropes introduce a concept that is often found in fiction, like "Damsel In Distress." A tropes page will explain the concept, along with related concepts (aka "tropes"). It will then list examples of the trope, organized by media. Pages for works are pages centered around a certain book, movie, etc. It is easy to tell what most of the tropers enjoy because those pages will be ridiculously long. A works page will explain the plot or setup and then list the tropes found in that work.

This is a wiki site, like Wikipedia. However, unlike Wikipedia, when they say "anyone can edit" they do mean ANYONE, and you can edit anything. Signing up is ridiculously easy--not even an email address is required--and from there you can begin adding examples to the pages. Editing is also very easy to learn; internal links can be added by typing Wiki Words, where you just type the words without spaces and it is all correctly formatted by Wiki Magic. Much easier than Blogger (sorry, Blogger!).

If none of that sounds interesting, you are probably better off. I am being completely serious here: I could happily spend an entire day on their site...in fact, I probably have. The question is whether or not I should (obviously not). TV Tropes' greatest advantage is also its biggest weakness. Gee, I wonder if there's a trope for that...

You can find TV Tropes here. Click at your own risk, especially if you have something important to do.

You have been warned.

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