The accidental pregnancy trope in romance: Yes or No?

Hey everyone! I was just curious on what you guys had to say. I’m writing my sequel to my slow burn novella and was looking at the chapter outline. Later on in the book, she gets pregnant through the male love interest (they’re like 8 months into the relationship at this point?) and she’s scared because (content warning:) she had a miscarriage two years prior while in another relationship. However my goal is to make my book as un-cliche (idk if that’s a word) as possible. What do you guys think? Do you like it? Do you not like it? Do you think it’s cliche?

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Nayy. :sweat_smile: I personally never enjoyed the accidental pregnancy trope. If the girl is so afraid of getting pregnant, she would, logically, take every single precaution, no matter how “lost in passion” the couple happens to be. It’s especially more complicated when she’s had a past miscarriage, the fear of getting pregnant will be even greater. I think it’d make more sense if they talk it out and try for a baby, her getting pregnant then wouldn’t really be as cliche, and it’d be a nice change from the norm. :woman_shrugging: Just my two cents though! <3

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You can do everything to prevent it and STILL get pregnant. For example: hormone driven preventatives don’t work well with antibiotics.

There’s also the background depression that comes with losing a baby: you’re less inclined to prevent what isn’t going to be an issue in the first place. My hormone imbalance made me go meh…no kids until I was in my 30s and no kids to term until I was 35. I was 10 years into a relation ship, 8 of them married before I had my girl.

You want to make this complex, make her be told after the last one that she wouldn’t have another–ectopic pregnancy, lose 1 ovary, something like that. So, after that the complexity is: she’s going to keep this miracle child and if he’s got a problem with it, he can leave.

So, then comes does she want to stay with him and his potential objections or does she want to break it off and coddle this pregnancy, without the stress of him?

The trope is about a surprise that the woman is clueless about. An experienced woman has MANY other concerns.

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Thanks for the two cents!

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Oooh what an interesting analysis! Thank you!

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Firstly, write what you want to write. Pick the trope that you enjoy, and the stake that excites you to write. Because it’s your story and you can’t please everyone. So whether or not it’s cliche, we like it, etc, etc, it shouldn’t bother you. You will always get readers who enjoy it, and you will get readers who check your blurb and skip your story.

Secondly, getting knocked up accidentally happens. Birth controls don’t protect us 100%. To prevent it? Do not have sex :)) If the character is not impulsive (like my character in my accident pregnancy trope book), you maybe can make your character miss one pill and she doesn’t realize that she did, or smth in that sense, not because she’s careless. Pure accident.

I know it’s going to be challenging to write an accidental pregnancy trope, but when you do it right, it’s gold. And the most of it, if you love writing it, then you should do it. In my experience with this trope, people have been saying mean things in my story, but there are also people who love my books. So, yeah, do it. Write the trope and make it your own.

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Like, why not? It’s not like it’s totally unheard of for a woman to get pregnant while not intending to. Her fear is also justified, though a lot of women will react by wanting to concieve asap. BUT if that previous event broke her previous relationship, that gives her a great emotional trigger to be afraid that this relation too will not survive a pregnancy, full term or not. It will be internally logical for the character, hence good writing and a fantastic ground for the conflict.

I suggest to dig deeper in that previous relation and situation, and make the connection to the current one, exploring her emotional state about it and the conflict she has with her partner or with herself, how she wants to handle it etc. Pregnancy is a HUGE topic and rich in emotion and drama. It is a cornerstone of human life, and all such cornerstones are bread and butter of romance far, far more than spilled coffee (that is a cliché). You might as well say falling in love is a trope :slight_smile:

I have an accidental pregnancy as a climax of one of my books, that is tied into a motivation for a dramatic shoot-out in the end. I am positive that my book is not cliché and is actually pretty cool. Or will be once I get to editing it.

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@pipwusa @DomiSotto Thank you guys for your responses! I appreciate it!

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I agree with the posts above. Regardless of whether it’s considered cliche write the story you want to tell. You’ll have people who like it and people who don’t either way. But accidental pregnancies happen. Even if birth control is used perfectly it can still fail for absolutely no reason other than random, impossible to predict fluke. My son is a testament to that :joy: I think the miscarriage has a lot of potential to add depth and complexity to the situation too and make it stand out more

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That’s what I was thinking too! I thought it would make the story a little more down to earth because miscarriages happen a lot more than people realize. Thanks for your input!

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I agree with the majority of comments here. I even know women who’ve had multiple miscarriages. Not sure how you’re character would react, but some women don’t think much about ‘oh I’m infertile’ after one. Some women do actively keep trying and after so many, that’s when they figure it out, unfortunately.

Also, me and my 2 brothers are results of failed birth control. It fails way more often than people think. And as someone who’s been on birth control, forgetting a pill can happen easily. But I think do what feels right to your character because you know her best. Every cliche can be used and enjoyed by someone. :blush:

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Seems like it’s realistic and adds enough drama when handled well.

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PCOS coupled with no pregnancies until 30s before miscarrying the 1st one. I gave up before the 1st pregnancy. That’s why I said additional things like: ectopic with the loss of an ovary. I was warned at 16 that I’d likely not carry to term without medication, and that it came with the risk of carrying children that should miscarry to term.

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I agree with previous posts. My take: both my kids were surprise pregnancies. I wasn’t trying to have kids, but I knew I was going to try soon, so got a little careless with precautionary measures. I had a friend who got pregnant after being told she couldn’t. And another who’s gf got pregnant after telling him she was unable to conceive; a lie because she was so desperate for a baby.

I haven’t read too many accidental pregnancy stories, but in the couple I did read, I noticed that it didn’t add depth to the story. It was used as a flimsy way to get the characters together or temporarily push them apart without actually affecting/developing them at all. I think if you dive into the feelings and challenges she’s facing, it would already be apart from those stories. :slightly_smiling_face:

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That’s the problem with tropes. It’s never which one you use, but poor execution doesn’t make for good storytelling.

If the story calls for it, go for it.
The thing with tropes is that it’s the way the author does it.

For example, with things like rape, abuse, BDSM whatever, it’s always the same: you see them just used as a hollow plot point. Like I’ve seen it used before; the MC has one love interest, but someone else likes her, so what does the author do because the LI won’t back off? Have him jealous and try to rape the MC, and then get the main LI (the one she likes) to “rescue” her. Bearing in mind this jealous 2nd LI has absolutely no bad bone in his body other than being you know, someone who likes the MC.
Really?

So kinda like that. Don’t use it hollow-ly. Like make sure it moves the story/characters on. Like: do they need to learn something?

As for having a MC and then accidental pregnancy? As someone who’s had recurring miscarriages, the usual mindset, for most (obviously not all) is to try again straight away. Can’t explain why on my part, but that was how it was.
I did have one MC like years before my husband, out of a one night stand, accidental pregnancy, and though I obviously didn’t try again, like it was this sad experience that made me yearn for a pregnancy and baby afterwards.

IDK if this helps XD

But I’d definitely say: a trope isn’t bad to use, but it’s the execution you need, if you see what I mean. As a reader, make sure it adds depth to the story <3

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Oh, that psychology is pretty straightforward. You don’t want to end like that. You didn’t get “the promised results”. It’s very much an “I was denied my child” thing.

Hormonally speaking, you’re at one of the lowest points in your life, and it takes a good 6 months to crawl out of that. Being pregnant is usually an emotional high (not always, and its definately not due to hormones) and you just want out of that loss so damn badly.

From a relationship perspective, unless the father was absolutely ready for this kid or highly empathetic, he’s not in the same headspace, and that makes for a lack of total support because he’s not hormonally driven to a hellscape.

I don’t see a difference between postpartum depression and a miscarriage, from experience. Only went through PD for the first kid. At least there’s something to hold onto with PD.

That definitely makes sense :thinking:

I think for me this is exactly it, we were trying for a child as well, so that “my body has denied me” way of thinking was definitely going there, and the hurt after an emotional high

So so true

Ah this is so true. I had Postnatal depression, and it was definitely the same, yet also different. Like the feelings were the same, but when I had PD, I had my son as a reason to get on and get up, whereas (before I had my son, I had MCs after him as well) with the MCs, I didn’t have him there so it was a bit more all-consuming, but just with the same feelings.

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