Here at Merbooks, God knows we've seen our share of the tropes. So for all you lovely aspiring writers out there, here's some things to look out for, twist to your advantage, or avoid entirely.
1. My name is totally some low key aquatic reference, or the mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere with no explanation has a weird water name too. Huh. Wonder what the means?
2. I either have a completely irrational fear of water or I can't get enough of it. Irrational fear often involves nightmares. Bonus points for mysterious white haired mermaid (always white haired).
3. If not afraid of water, I'm probably an Olympic level swimmer. Also always has long hair and too long legs, or is somewhat ethereally beautiful.
4. Mysterious boy who randomly shows up at school or work one day is totally gorgeous in an ethereal way and doesn't get my references to modern culture. Claims to be from some far off European country to get away with it.
5. Ethereal boyfriend might be a surfer. If not, he is also irrationally sensitive about water.
6. Ethereal boyfriend must always have blue or green eyes.
7. I'm definitely adopted, or live with aunt/uncle, some familial relation that is not the parents. If adopted, nobody has a clue who my biological parents are.
8. Ethereal boyfriend will randomly show up at workplace, house, places where I am. No explanation, although it is kind of creepy.
9. Concerned best friend can never ever realize that I'm a mermaid. It would ruin everything.
10. Joke about The Little Mermaid. Hardy har har, never heard that one before.
11. Hair might magically get longer when mermaid transformation happens.
12. Shocker, ethereal boyfriend is totally also a merman and has been assigned by magical undersea kingdom to be a bodyguard because I'm actually a princess. Or he's there to reveal to me all the mermaid secrets.
13. Naturally, our love will be completely forbidden by "Da Rules".
14. But even that ain't gonna stop me dragging his ass to prom.
15. Naturally, the big bad will attack at prom.
16. I will discover my totally off the wall crazy strong mermaid powers at that exact moment no matter how much previous practice I have had with them.
17. Have to make heartbreaking decision about whether to live in ocean, or stay and finish high school/whatever, invariably finds a way to make both work.
18. There is going to be one of a few classical quotes somewhere in this book form Shakespeare's Tempest, Some Tennyson, some Yeats, a Radiohead song, or Hans Christian Anderson.
Based on the Little Mermaid
Protag has red hair
English teacher foreshadows this entire process
Secluded beachside town in Maine or Washington
Prophetic dreams that involve lost mermaid parents
People give things to the protag for free because she's so pretty
Being a mermaid/merman comes with transformation into a totally gorgeous seductive being, even if they're a teenager.