Making Sausage: Trope-a-Day Order

This is answering a metaquestion, hence the odd prefix:

More of a “how the sausage is made” question than anything relevant in-universe, but what’s your procedure for arranging the Trope-of-the-Day order?  I’ve been thinking of using the idea for a world-building / possible writing project of my own that I’ve had in my head for a while, and I’m curious as to how exactly you go about it.

Well… mostly, as little as possible.

It’s sort of two pointers chasing each other, with the occasional variation since it’s not like TV Tropes itself is a fixed list…

I mostly obtain tropes to fill up the list by running through applicable indexes (starting, obviously enough, with “Speculative Fiction Tropes“, for me) on the TV Tropes sites, which start out in alphabetical order. That, though, is supplemented by suggestions, tropes I just happen to happen across, and occasional looking at the tropes listed for other works that I perceive as having something in common with mine just to see if I’ve missed anything interesting.

And then as I do the write-ups, I add them to my tropes list, which I keep reordered into alphabetical order so I can find stuff.

For publishing purposes, here, I just run through that list in alphabetical order (even though, per above, that’s not necessarily how they got onto it) and publish one a day.

Except: there are dependencies, in the form of some trope write-ups that mention other trope-write ups, in which case I publish the trope that it depends on first, out of order, if it isn’t already so that I don’t have to explain the missing link or remember to go back and put the link in earlier when I get to the other trope.  (So, for example, despite being in the middle of the letter S, in the next few days we’ll see What Do You Mean It’s Not Political?, because Strawman Political references it.)

In the case of multiple dependencies, I’ll do a depth-first recursion on this principle, so sometimes you’ll see very large digressions – and I’ll end up making whiteboard diagrams – when many tropes reference each other. (At least once, too, I’ve had a dependency cycle, which is just annoying and forces me to pick an arbitrary starting point.)

And then, when they’re particularly relevant to something else I’ve written at the time (like Reactionless Drive) or that’s happening in the world (like Space Marine), I’ll just post them out of order anyway.

So. Yeah. That’s my process. Kind of a plan-of-no-plan, isn’t it?

 

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