Elemental Storytelling: Tropes in The Last Vhalgenn by Kayelle Allen #scifi #amwriting


My sincere thanks to Melissa Snark for putting together another presentation of the Periodic Table of Storytelling. If you missed last year’s, you can find it here. The other authors in this presentation are:

July 7 Kayelle Allen
July 8 Jax Daniels
July 9 Melissa Snark
July 10 Houston Havens
July 13 Caroline Warfield
July 14 Jude Knight
July 15 Emily Walker
July 16 Mari Christie
July 17 Jami Brumfield
July 21 Beth Caudill
July 22 Jordan K. Rose

What is a Trope?

In literature, a trope is a theme that recurs across a genre, like the ‘mad scientist’ of horror movies or ‘once upon a time’ as an introduction to fairy tales. It’s similar to archetypes and clichés, although not necessarily negative in aspect. Tropes are often considered shorthand by writers. Readers expect heroes or villains to react in certain ways. Writers can alter those expectations by having the characters act in different manners, or by give the characteristics of a hero to the villain, and vice versa. There are thousands of tropes.


The wiki site TV Tropes is a catalog explaining the tricks of using them for fiction writers and fans. If you want proof, take a look at the Periodic Table of Storytelling chart.

Here’s how The Last Vhalgenn fits within the tropes on this chart. We’ll read the elements in the molecule below from left to right. I’ll explain each item and show you how it fits within the tale, without giving away the ending. You can click the element name to visit the page for that trope on the TV Tropes site.

Allen molecule 2015 tlv


Introducing the Tropes of The Last Vhalgenn

tlv500Publisher: Romance Lives Forever Books

Date Published: April 1, 2014

Genre: Fantasy, Scifi

Word Count: 38 pages


Duty to king and country has shaped Raik’s life since birth, but to protect them, she must perform a ritual that betrays all she holds sacred.

The Vhalgenn is a warrior, bedmate, soulmate, companion, and friend. Trusted by the king. Hated by the queen. To save the newborn prince, the Vhalgenn will risk her position, her honor, and death itself to honor the Old Ways. But when she takes the newborn prince to the queen’s homeland for a ritual blessing, she discovers a betrayal so deep the kingdom — and her heart — might never recover.


BKS – Backstory

The backstory is what happened to one or more of the characters prior to the beginning, and is vital to what’s happening now. If the story is about a warrior with PTSD, it’ll be the war trauma that created the problem. If it’s about a survivor of an apocalypse, it’ll be about the catastrophe/invasion that caused it. In The Last Vhalgenn, it’s about the relationship between Kin Orix and Raik. Raik is a Vhalgenn, a person of the opposite sex who is given to the king or queen of Qarth at birth. The Vhalgenn is to be everything but a spouse. They fight together, play together, laugh and cry and live together. They are more than lovers, more than family. It’s a lifetime commitment, never broken.

However, prior to the beginning of The Last Vhalgenn, the Queen of Kellindahr and the King of Qarth are joined in a loveless marriage, and must beget a child to cement the relationship of their warring nations. The queen cast out the king’s Vhalgenn, and thus laid the foundation for the conflict.

MPB – Manipulative Bastard

This is the master manipulator of emotions. This person can make you hate sweet little bunnies, or love ugly monsters. You don’t want to trust anything they tell you. I’m not going to say who this is in The Last Vhalgenn, because it’s better that you don’t know.

HFT – Heel Face Turn

When a bad guy becomes a good guy, this is a heel face turn. King Orix holds this position, and he starts out as a shallow womanizer. All I’ll say here is that he mends his ways. As to why, and how he does it, that’s for you to discover.

SCL – Star Crossed Lovers

Star crossed lovers are kept apart by fate, family, or feuds. They can never be together. When they try, they become Romeo and Juliet. Fate steps in the way to separate them. In this case, it’s King Orix and the Vhalgenn.

DET – Determinator

This person, male or female, young or old, is the driving force. Raik, the Vhalgenn, never gives up, no matter how dangerous, or how far, or how much it will cost her.

PG – Plucky Girl

The wetnurse who accompanies the Vhalgenn on her journey has been through trials, including facing the death of her own child if she doesn’t help. Yet she soldiers on, and refuses to go back until she’s accomplished her purpose.

NEO – The Chosen One

The newborn in The Last Vhalgenn is a child who will supposedly unite two warring countries. If he dies, war will ensue.

PHL – Applied Phlebotinum

The tropes site defines this as any technology so advanced it could appear to be magic. In The Last Vhalgenn, it’s the Gates, a sacred place where the newborn child is to be taken as part of a ritual. The true reason for the ritual isn’t revealed until the last pages.

Excerpt from The Last Vhalgenn

In this scene from The Last Vhalgenn, the heroine, Raik, is alone with King Orix. They grew up together, but his new queen barred Raik from the palace. Raik is back to deliver news of a battle and while delighted to be with Orix, she is nervous about his queen discovering them, and then finds out the queen is gravely ill.


“She’s in danger of losing the baby.”

“Again?” There had been a miscarriage four months after their marriage. “What’s wrong this time?” I poured more wine.

“Some woman thing. Her doctors fuss around her bed all day. It’s been weeks and she still has to stay on her back. I can’t even see her. All her doctors are from Kellindahr. I don’t think she trusts ours.”

“This child is crucial, Orix. You need an heir to both lands. If it helps for her to have her own people around her, so much the better.”

“Aye.” He rambled on about a rallying point and the Kellindahrii people’s love for their queen, while I mused over how much time would be lost begetting another heir. It struck me that if Dahr was abed she hadn’t met Orix’s needs. My throat tightened when I thought of him sleeping alone. I dared not look at the over-sized bed we’d so often shared. Nor did I look straight at him, afraid my rampant feelings would show. There was a war to finish. I’d been foolish to bring the dispatch. Being this close to him…

I flung myself out of the chair and stalked, stiff legged and sore, over to the fireplace and leaned my head against the mantle.

“I’m sorry.” Orix came up behind me. “You’re exhausted and here I am prating about my needs.” He pulled my hand to his mouth and pressed the palm against his lips.


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Giveaway for Everyone

Click to download a free, illustrated booklet: Behind the Scenes of The Last Vhalgenn

Author Bio and Links

kayelleallen150x200Kayelle Allen is a best-selling, multi-published, award-winning author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr. She is the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers and the owner of The Author’s Secret.

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10 thoughts on “Elemental Storytelling: Tropes in The Last Vhalgenn by Kayelle Allen #scifi #amwriting

  1. missy.snark@gmail.com

    Hi Kayelle,
    Welcome and thank you so much for participating in Elemental Storytelling. It’s been fantastic working with you on this event.

  2. Thank you for inviting me. I learned a lot by creating this story molecule. I think it could be a good plot tool for new stories as well.

  3. Love the excerpt, Kayelle! This was a very interesting exercise.

    • Thanks, Jana. I agree. I think the Tropes site is a treasure trove for writers.

  4. Hi Kayelle!

    I love this idea for building out the idea of a story…it gives a great base to begin any strong storyline. Perfect for writers just starting out and struggling to catch the secrets to a good storyboard blocking….to write a bestselling book.

    I love the way you make this idea work so easy. Great post!!!


    • Thank you, Houston. Working on this was fun. Plus I got to help the others by creating the various molecules for their stories. That taught me even more about this concept.

  5. As a panster I am always looking for ways to helpme try to do a bit more plotting. This trope series is very interesting…:) I need to think about my own molecules.

    • It does help you see your characters better. I wrote this book some time ago, but as I went over it for this series, I got to know them even better. That was helpful, because I’m putting together a sequel. I plan to use the tropes site as one more way to develop the characters. The Last Vhalgenn is about a woman who protects a newborn baby. In the sequel, the baby will be a grown man, and how he handles the truth of his birth is a critical part of the story. Looking at some of these tropes helps me see how he might do that.

  6. The story concept sounds fascinating, Kayelle

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