A literary trope in a story is like a cliché with impunity. It’s a recognizable convention, but if the author knows what to do, it can be used to great effect. Any writer looking for ways to add useful details and situations to a narrative will find tropes helpful. As such, this series of posts analyzes the endless well of information that is TVTropes.org (from a literary perspective).
The Literary Trope: Layman’s Terms
TV Tropes defines the trope as follows:
An attempt by a specialist to make incomprehensible Technobabble or other jargon comprehensible to the other characters. Usually this results in an explanation that’s either insultingly vague or just as incomprehensible as the original. This often occurs as the result of another character saying something like, In English, please?
Similar to last week’s trope (“As You Know“), this trope allows your characters to have an ‘explain it all to the audience’ moment, but unlike “As You Know,” this one comes with some built-in fun. It almost always necessitates some kind of humor.
It is likely that if you are a fantasy/science fiction writer, you’ll find this trope useful. [Read more...]