Welcome back, writers! Monday is here, and that means it’s time for another installment of Being a Better Writer! And this week? We’ve got an interesting one to talk about.
Yeah, I know you can all see it right there, up above. Some of you might even be thinking “Aha, a trope I can read about on TV Tropes later. Thanks!” but I’ll warn you that it isn’t going to be that easy.
Why? Well for starters, there is no “Brumak Rodeo” trope listed on TV Tropes. I’ve checked. That lack is one of the reasons I decided to write this post today. Because the concept that I associate with the term? Also not on TV Tropes.
In other words, the Brumak Rodeo is a trope that is not recognized. Either by the term I’m using, or as a trope acknowledged by that site. And … to be fair, I can kind of see why: It’s not something that’s commonly used across stories. In fact, it seems pretty darn rare. For a couple of reasons, among them being it takes a lot of careful setup to use, and use effectively. Used poorly, it’ll come off wrong with the audience and feel ill-earned, quite possibly tanking your pacing. At worst, it could feel like poorly paced pandering—not something you want interrupting your finale.
Maybe this is why we don’t see a lot of books use this concept. In fact, where I’ve seen it used most isn’t in books or movies—off the top of my head I can’t even think of a good example from a movie—but from video games. But even then, it’s not a common trope. Possibly because of the various difficulties of using it well.
But here’s the thing: Used well, this trope can produce some amazingly satisfying and cathartic moments for your audience. moments which can be some of the most memorable of the entire story. And while I’m almost certain that this trope is older than dirt (there’s bound to be at least one ancient myth that uses it in some fashion, even if I can’t think of one off-hand), again it’s so rarely seen that I wanted to make it a discussion topic today. Because it is one of those story tropes that should be in your toolbox, and I think that more writers should have an understanding of how it works. You won’t use it a lot—to date, for example, I’ve only used it once across my entire library of works—but it does make for a fantastic tool under the right circumstances.
So hit the jump, and let’s talk about the Brumak Rodeo. And for that, you need to know what a Brumak is, and where the term “Brumak Rodeo” comes from.Continue reading