Cuil Press is all about breaking tropes. Mostly we focus on breaking tropes that are actively harmful to people. Tropes like Sexy is Evil, the Magical Minority, or Asexual=Prude.
But some tropes aren’t harmful–they’re just done to death.
Werewolves are awesome. But how many books do we really need about hierarchical werewolf packs where everyone bows to the (male) alpha, and a mystical tie joins mates for life?
Or the dark, brooding (again male) vampire whose world is turned upside down by romance?
And while we get the appeal of having a hot, sexy, billionaire fall in love with plain-jane and sweep her off her feet (Be honest: most of us would love to be jane -or john-in that scenario. The wish fulfillment is awesome.)–haven’t we seen it enough?
Cuil Press is currently accepting manuscripts, and one of the things we will be looking for is stories that are different–that break the standard tropes. Maybe by having a werewolf story about an asexual werewolf in an egalitarian pack–or maybe by not having werewolves entirely. Maybe it’s time for some stories about selkies or tengu instead.
If you are breaking tropes and trying something different in your fiction, we’d love to hear from you.