overused werewolf tropes and how you avoid them

#1

i started my werewolf novel “alpha kaine” by trying to venture from it being a wattpad werewolf genre to having it be a more mature, well thought out story but i find myself relying on some of the cliches i know so well from other wattpad novels in the same genre.

so in your werewolf writings, what is an overused wattpad cliche you put a spin on or avoided entirely?

#2

Mates I suppose. Typically, they’re quite literally “SOUL MATES, REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE,” but for my story, I’ve basically ripped off a different story I read that was really good, but was taken down unfortunately (it’s still on Fiction Press though - it’s called Demons of the Heart by RoughDraftHero). Basically, the idea is that instead of eye contact or one mate already chosen, people have “scent triggers,” pheromones that attract people. The weaker the pheromones, the less the attraction - the stronger the pheromones, the stronger the attraction.

The way I developed my version of scent triggers is that some people won’t have a scent trigger to match (for example, Person A might have a scent trigger that attracts person B, but Person B’s scent trigger doesn’t attract Person A). Society developed in a way that it’s shameful to not mate with someone that has a strong scent marker.

Well, I also have the “one mate” kind of thing, based on a disorder I made (creates basically an “inner wolf” that keeps it’s eye on one person, but I’m still fleshing it out).

Also, I’m working really hard on making a character that is actually independent lol I know it’s a cliche, but most of the cliche’d characters aren’t independent (though they claim to be).

Idk how cliche all of this is in respect to how alot of stories have the same spin on them.

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#3

Hm…

I think all but one of mine have ‘mates’
Rejected mate comes back stronger, seeking revenge.
Human Mate that doesn’t know about about ‘werewolves’
Love Triangles
Hybrids (vamp x werewolf)
Pack ‘runt/omega’ who doesn’t shift and the alpha’s son
Instalove

Pretty sure I’ve done nearly all the cliches now. Who doesn’t love a cliche?

But in saying that, I also try to make sure my characters are well developed and interesting. Come up with some twists people don’t see coming and avoid the general story line of how the above cliche goes down.

I’m not going to set every story in some remote town surrounded by forest where there are weird people and one alpha guy who is dark and moody, that my naive, very irritating and often stupid female mc is going to fall head over heels for the second they’re in the same postcode you know? (no offence intended to anyone that has the above)

Just write what you like. If it has a cliche element, don’t worry about. It’s hard to find a story out there that doesn’t have some element of one in!

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#4

Kind of what @ellarose12 said, a cliche doesn’t necessarily make or break a story. You have to be original in some aspects of course, but certain arcs have gained the status of a cliche because people have enjoyed writing and reading them over and over again. So if you really like the idea of a human falling in love with a werewolf, or the occurrence of mates, or whatever else there is, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t write about it.

You do, however, need to make it your own. Don’t just reword someone else’s story - the writing should have your voice to it. And don’t just write it because you think it will get popular, write it because you really have a story you want to tell and feel strongly about.

All that being said, I personally hate when the main female is too strong willed to the point of being a total jerk and/or idiot. I see that all the time in werewolf stories - people try to write “strong female characters” and end up with someone I would rather see be the werewolves’ dinner.

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#5

i feel like my idea is cliche but i know (this is going to sound really egotistical and i’m sorry in advance) that there isn’t anything out there that i’ve read that is anything like my story. i’m not looking to avoid cliche’s just because i want my book to be original, i’m looking to avoid them because i don’t want to make the book less unique by using so many of them if that makes sense

#6

Well, I have mates and rogues in mine, both of which are common werewolf themes. I’ve tried hard to make it unique though. In my story, mates are determined by pheromones (since being a werewolf massively improves the olfactory system) and there’s nothing special or spiritual about it, its just become so ingrained in werewolf culture that its taboo to take someone that isn’t your ‘mate’ as your partner.

Rogues, meanwhile, aren’t particularly evil and generally avoid packs if they can. Rather than evil beings, they’re just werewolves that don’t belong to a pack that’s registered under the Pariter Treaty (A universal peace treaty that governs common law, by not being registered you can’t be punished for any crimes, but you also can’t prosecute anyone for the crimes committed against you.) This means that a lot of rogues are employed by the black markets or as assassins.

#7

The Alphas. A large proportion of the alphas in my world are portrayed as having tacky tastes, being downright kleptocratic, promoting ridiculous conspiracy theories, prone to on-air gaffes, and generally acting like entitled idiots.

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#8

No hate, but the whole werewolf thing is one big overused trope. Like, why can’t people create their own supernatural creatures to write about? Or take something from a little known mythology/folklore? It’s much more fun, trust me :slight_smile:

#9

i have an interesting way of introducing alpha’s in my book but yeah i still use them lol

#10

i mean i guess but if you’re going to say werewolf books are all unoriginal and cliche you might want to leave the werewolf genre club…

#11

Cause if we created our own from scratch it wouldn’t be werewolf? It’d be straight fantasy. I know people who use little known myths and folklore, some are popular, some are not but many end up becoming a cliche or a trope eventually.

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#12

That’s honestly like saying teenagers are a big overused trope in Teen Fiction.

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#13

Well some tropes are played out like the whole alpha thing, but more so the mate that’s abusive and shewns someone. Also Werewolf where it’s straight up romance. Make it mainly horror or action and your’l’ be on the right road to being different from the majority these days.

In my last project I did werewolf straight up horror, with some gore, and what not, but a romance as the b story, that comes into play majorly at the end.

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#14

I am vague about the concept of mates in my story. It don’t like it. It reminds me about the love at first sight trope which I also dislike. It’s okay to be attracted to a person at once but not in love. It often leads to weird and forceful relationships where the lovers has to be together or they will die.

I would recommend avoiding the Moon Goddess trope if you aren’t in love it the idea as it seem to be in every Wattpad story about werewolves. It’s literally everywhere. Maybe try a different origin story. Experiments, magic Creation or evolution. Anything really.

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#15

same here. :slight_smile: i just did away with the concept of destined mates in one story. the other has teh concept of “potential mates”

#16

I try to figure out how to turn the overused trope on its head. Like talking to your inner wolf conversations in my stories its a sign of mental illness. In one story the ‘Pack House’ is an actual working ranch and the pack lives in the surrounding area and town. In another, the ‘Pack House’ is a low (sometimes no) income apartment complex/dorm in the town. As for the whole mate thing, I can’t seem to get away from it, but I have other creatures with there own form of soulmate. All shifters have a mate, witches or casters have a love, vampires have their heart, etc…

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#17

I mostly just ditch the tropes altogether. Most of these common wattpad tropes are ideas that I seriously never heard of outside of wattpad, don’t know where they came from, and hated them from the get-go. So I have no trouble with just pretending they never existed and doing my own thing.

I don’t have mates in my story.

I don’t have alphas.

Don’t have luna-anything.

Don’t have betas or omegas.

I have a tribe of people who are proudly werewolves and are ostracized by humanity for it. They live in their own neighborhood of a city and are kept under wraps by strict laws and a group of enforcers called The Argent.

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#18

I really like everything you’ve said here. I also have a couple of stories in which there are varying degrees of compatibility and the characters have some degree of choice about who they end up with. I really like the added freedom it brings as the writer.

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#19

I’ve never had anything against the ‘mate’ aspect of the werewolf stories because, for me, that’s always been the centre of the stories I loved reading. Whenever I’m looking for a new werewolf book (such as right now, please help a girl out) I want to read about people finding their mates and love because I’m just one of those girls however the cliche and repetitive books where it’s all sunshine and rainbows and nothing bad ever happens or the super aggressive and plain rude Alpha’s being abusive just makes me drop the book instantly. I need to see development for me to actually enjoy what I’m reading and most, sadly, don’t have that anymore.
Also the whole weak incapable female protagonist cliche really sends me off the edge. It’s like writers purposely choose to make the females more susceptible to loosing their wits and changing their beliefs for no reason whatsoever. I can agree with change and stuff if there’s a correct development that follows. (:
Rant over, sorry

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#20

very true. I use the concept of ‘chosen’ mates, rejection is just a social norm that does not result in any life-threatening reactions/ insanity/ death etc, and no insta-love, bonds, yet they are very much werewolf stories. there is more to werewolves/ shifters than mates :stuck_out_tongue: and intelligent female MCs with a mind of their own always make for an enjoyable story :slight_smile: the character’s development and arcs often do slow down the story but it so worth the wait (or so I believe)