The Tropes


Dime novels were extremely cheap fiction, and they frequently lacked variety in plot and character. Recurring themes, or tropes, can be traced across the whole genre. This section is organized around the more prevalent tropes found in dime novels. Brief explanations of each trope and how it plays out in the stories are followed by links to discussions of characters who exemplify each trope.

The tropes selected here are not comprehensive. If you are inspired to read some dime novels, you may discover some tropes of your own.