Storytelling tropes consigned to history

Discussion in 'books, films, TV, radio & writing' started by Cloo, May 8, 2018.

  1. Cloo

    Cloo Surfeit of lampreys

    Was just thinking about how developments over time can kill of storytelling tropes that were once very popular.

    Eg central heating, antibiotics and less ridiculous layers of clothing killed of the well-loved Victorian trope of 'Character catches a chill while walking in the rain and must stay over at another family's house for several weeks to recover and all sorts of intrigues/flirtations/inappropriate friendships occur' or 'Character overhears evil plan while standing in the cold and thus collapses with a fever and is unable to talk to anyone or do anything for a month or two.'

    Obviously, mobile and internet has made it harder to write anything that involves people being uncontactable and unable to contact anyone else, although you can contrive those circumstances and I suppose it takes on greater horror these days.

    Any other tropes that society/technology have rendered irrelevant?
    Celyn, bimble and tim like this.
  2. Ground Elder

    Ground Elder Well-Known Member

    I used to have anxiety dreams where I was lost, trying to trace my route back somewhere. Then one night my dream self remembered Google Maps on the phone and that was the end of that :cool: I expect I'll run out battery sooner or later :eek:
    ebonics, nogojones, emanymton and 9 others like this.
  3. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    The demise of antibiotics will see some of these themes return
    catinthehat and Cloo like this.
  4. QueenOfGoths

    QueenOfGoths Fuck you Dave!

    The play "Outside Edge" uses a single telephone as a plot device which just wouldn't happen now with advent of mobile phones.
    Cloo likes this.
  5. Cloo

    Cloo Surfeit of lampreys

    Storylines about scandal caused by an unmarried young woman talking to a single man without a chaperone nearby.
    ebonics likes this.
  6. tim

    tim Well-Known Member

    It is increasingly unlikely that the butler will have done it.

    In the 1930s inspectors in crime novels inevitably lit a pipe before mulling over the evidence, this would be considered eccentric today

    You can no longer buy arsenic from the chemist and then sign the poisons' register with a false name
  7. tim

    tim Well-Known Member

    The lower orders no longer know their place, ma'am
    ebonics and MickiQ like this.
  8. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist slowtime

    whither now tinder and flint?

    no more talk of dowry and quests to secure them for your daughters.

    Oh and heres one, getting the doctor to come to the house. With his black bag. Good luck with that if its not private, Dr Leg is no more
    imposs1904, skyscraper101 and Cloo like this.
  9. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist slowtime

    a can of stale beer and five rothman royals down as he peers blearily at the social media accounts of the victims, thats the modern equivalent.
    yield, Yossarian, JimW and 1 other person like this.
  10. krtek a houby

    krtek a houby this means nothing to me

    Women in literature who always needed rescuing or explaining to. Glad all that sexist nonsense is the stuff of yesteryear.

    eta: :rolleyes::hmm::(
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  11. Edie

    Edie Well-Known Member

    What do we do now? Said no woman, ever :D
    Cloo, bimble and krtek a houby like this.
  12. Orang Utan


    It ain't. I just read an Ian McEwan book which is full of it.
  13. Yossarian

    Yossarian free shrugs

    You're not going to see many investigators having a Eureka moment as they develop crime photos in a darkroom, not unless Hipster Cop is on the case.
  14. Edie

    Edie Well-Known Member

    Ooh which one? Love his early books
  15. cheesethief

    cheesethief Well-Known Member

    The classic love letter trope in all its many guises - finding a set of sweet old love letters that reveal hidden assignations, the dramatic exposition of infidelity, hitherto unknown parentage, etc. Riffling through the text messages in granny's old Nokia 3110 just isn't the same...
    tim and imposs1904 like this.
  16. Orang Utan


    Sweet Tooth
  17. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Hoc vellum voluntater album mansum est

    One of his books cited me of my romantic image of hot air balloons forever. One day I'm all "she flies like a bird in the sky-y-y-y", the next I have PTSD...
    oryx, Voley, Edie and 1 other person like this.
  18. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist slowtime

    in old films it was often ok, nay necessary, to slap a woman. And nobody said shit about it like 'I'm calling the police' or knee to the balls etc.
    ebonics likes this.
  19. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    I have no candlestick, lead pipe or rope to use as weapons, and no ballroom, cellar, library, billiard room or study in which to have anyone murdered. It won't be long before I have no envelopes either.
    Enviro, ebonics and danny la rouge like this.
  20. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Hoc vellum voluntater album mansum est

    *cited? FFS, cured!

    That's something storylines can do now. Fat fingered commuter sets off train of events with autocorrect misunderstanding.
    Poot likes this.
  21. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Hoc vellum voluntater album mansum est

    Quite often "thank you for bringing me to my senses".

    (Although those of you familiar with Gommorra will know the
    "calm down" murder scene on the beach with Ciro and his wife
  22. Edie

    Edie Well-Known Member

    That’s a shit one iirc
  23. Santino

    Santino lovelier than lovely

    Messages not getting through because a whole city has been quarantined due to the Black Death.
  24. souljacker

    souljacker A bit of skullduggery

    That's been neatly replaced with the 'zoom in to a prefectly clear 1000x magnification' on a digital photo though.
    ebonics, scifisam and Yossarian like this.
  25. Artaxerxes

    Artaxerxes Well-Known Member

    Expecting to have a job for life.
  26. Yossarian

    Yossarian free shrugs

    Aliens landing and wanting to talk to the president of the USA.
    Enviro, tim, RubyToogood and 6 others like this.
  27. skyscraper101

    skyscraper101 0891 50 50 50

    Running to the gate in airports. Whether you have a ticket or not. Seemed to be a thing in America at some point into the 90s? Though I don't remember it ever being a thing here.

    Academic anyway now as it takes a good 10 minutes or more just getting through security.
  28. trabuquera

    trabuquera Modesty Bag

    Fewer children dying after being thrown from horses in today's fiction.
    Not half as many people (esp women) being carted off to insane asylums.
    Not sure if "making it over the border to Mexico" is the get-away-free-forever" resolution it once was.
  29. skyscraper101

    skyscraper101 0891 50 50 50

    Finding people's address and phone number by name in the phone book.

    Phone book's period.
    Enviro likes this.
  30. MickiQ

    MickiQ Well-Known Member

    After half an hour of talking to the current one they would pack and go home on the grounds that humanity is too stupid to be worth the effort.

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