Writing Tip 34: Fictional Male Tropes

If you’ve read tip 33 you would’ve already known the definition of tropes but if you haven’t then I’ll write here as well but don’t get mad if its redundant information if you’ve read tip 33 already. Sorry not everyone reads these tips in order. So you can skip it if you’ve read it or read it again to refresh your mind.

The term trope in the literary community has come to have a creative meaning. Its literal definition is the use of figurative language for artistic effect. However, now the term trope has come to be commonly defined as recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or cliches in creative works.

These are the top fictional male tropes in literature that has my blood boiling when I read them.

1. The sexy douche

He’s hot, irresistible, and rich but at the same time is arrogant, manipulative, and self-centered.

Who likes to be around someone like this let alone be in a relationship with someone who only thinks and talks about themselves is crazy. Exaggerated self-importance is not sexy at all.

2. The mind reader

I wish this guy actually existed because we would get along great. However, this guy is creepy in literature.

He can read emotions, body language, facial expressions without speaking a single word to his love interest. He knows her/him on a deeper level and wants to be with her/him because he’s emotionally attracted.

3. The Adonis (not to be confused with my book character Aidoneus)

The strongest, smartest, tallest, handsome man in the story. He will come to sweep you off your feet. He will prance around the book like Fabio and no other man compares to him because he’s the only man in the book that every girl is attracted to. Sometimes he’s the only man in the book the lead is not related to.

He’s physically the only attractive man in the book. It’s okay to make him look handsome but he can’t be 100% flawless.

4. The temper tantrum

These are the guys that flip out for no reason or for the smallest reasons. They go from 0 to 60 in 1 millisecond. They throw chairs, punches, kicks, tables, you name it they probably smashed it already.

It’s fine to have anger and rage when the situation calls for it but at every turn of a page he’s throwing a temper tantrum gets old, unrealistic, and ridiculous.

It reminds me of this 90’s telenovela called El Premio Major where one of the MC’s played by Marcelo Buquet would get overly upset at everything. He played this role in every scene and in every telenovela he played.

It seems like the writer is trying to make the MC manly but it’s not cool when at every situation he’s having an emotional breakdown.

5. The underdog

Who doesn’t like a good’ol underdog story, when the MC surpasses his expectations and fulfills his legacy. Although, being an underdog is great but being a spoiled brat is not. One who has no qualities and whines about not being able to do the task because he either physically or mentally can’t do it is not a good look or a good read.

He just doesn’t have the qualities but yet he’s the MC

6. The best at everything

This is the jack-of-all-trades kind of guy. One who does everything to perfection at the same time. He’s handsome, rich, mysterious, and has the highest IQ of all times.


This guy can be good at everything but not overnight. We want to see some sort of struggle of how he got to be the person that he is, we want to see growth, we want to root for him as we read about him in the story.

7. The womanizer

The guy that sleeps around with every character in the book to conquer for his own ego. Then he meets the one girl that changes his way. He’s suddenly the reformed womanizer. I’m not sure if this is true or not but I had a boyfriend who was this guy and he is still this guy even after he married and had kids. So, I’m not sure how this guy in the story is appealing, successful, and smart.

8. The hit it and quit it

This is the guy that just wants to bang everyone. He doesn’t care about the circumstance, or the reasons, or the person. He just wants to bang and that is his sole purpose in the book. He uses sex as an escape to whatever backstory he had.

Take a look around you, real guys function without having sex on their mind 24/7. I’m not saying that this guy can’t be horny however, every encounter shouldn’t revolve around his genitals and sex.

9. The emotionless

I know we want to depict our male character as strong and powerful but not given him any emotions is unbelievable.

Strength and courage are determined by overcoming adversity to be able to bounce back from a bad situation. Not having or showing emotions makes you heartless and unrealistic. Men cry, laugh, get angry, sad, afraid, and are happy why not depict these traits in your characters so that readers can further fall in love with the character.

10. The characterless best friend

This is the character solely written to be funny. Readers know nothing about him or what he does outside of when he enters the chapter and tells two or three funny lines and then is retreated to a corner until the next encounter.

I’m not saying that we need to know about every character’s backstory but if this character is going to appear in 50% of the book, then I’m going to need some backstory to them.

These are some male fictional tropes I found annoying. Let me know in the comments which ones I’ve missed.



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