Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling is now available for purchase. I wrote the introduction to this book, which hands well-worn story tropes to a new generation of writers and asks them to subvert our expectations.
I’m a big believer in the idea that we are the stories we tell ourselves. The evolution of these tried and true formulas reflect our collective values and preconceptions about the world. If you accept this idea, it’s easy to see the pushing of these boundaries (and the blowback from breaking with tradition) front and center in today’s culture wars. From Gamergate to Sad Puppies to Trump, we’re fighting over the stories we tell ourselves about our place in the world and our rights in society.
The book, edited by Monica Valentinelli and Jaym Gates, is getting rave reviews. I highly recommend it. And if you manage not to skip past the introduction, you’ll be treated to my view of the story trope as a cultural football.