I’m still ‘figuring out’ tropes, mainly b/c I think ALL good stories are just tropes that humans keep revisiting. I write werewolves. (There is a rabid fanbase for werewolves on Wattpad.) Although every author approaches the genre differently, I was drawn to writing wolves & shifter romance as a metaphor for human nature. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t at some point felt like they were seconds away from losing control–of their lives, their sex drives, their tempers.
With the werewolf trope, there is often acknowledgement of the amount of work or training that goes into remaining so-called civilized. But, there’s also room for obliterating self-control. These stories provide a justifiable reason to explore the socially acceptable mores of restraint. Is it okay to lose your temper and destroy a bunch of people? Of course not, so the characters who do so are penalized in our stories.
Conversely, sometimes we NEED to get angry and speak up for some injustice against us. Just about every good werewolf love story features the hero using his supernatural prowess to do exactly that. And since we more or less agree that it’s okay to get wild and kinky in our relationships, the trope lets readers experience what might happen if they lose control in the bedroom.
All in all, shifter romance is about examining the spectrum of self-control–when it’s right to relax our hold on it and when it’s appropriate to loosen the reigns. I think most stories that involve supernatural elements can apply this same principle without using werewolves. I’m not sure you can write a werewolf story that doesn’t in some way examine self-control b/c it’s the core tenet of shifting. Either you control it or you don’t, but there’s no shift without a reckoning with control.
Why do I write it? I’m a rigidly self-controlled person in nearly every aspect of my life (except writing, for some strange reason lol) So, maybe I’m exploring the limits of my own restraint.