Saturday, June 28, 2014

Stereotypical Charactes

This is going to be my first in a series of posts about common stereotypes in characters and in plots.

The nerd. The jock. The queen bee. These are all stereotypes that you've probably seen beforewhether it be in books, movies, television, or real life. And in writing (especially young adult fiction), it can be easy to add in a few of these, but that usually isn't the right thing to do.

Now I'm not saying that you shouldn't have a nerd or a jock in your writing. That's fine as long as all your nerds don't have glasses, pocket protectors, constant bullying issues, a heaping collection of comic books, and awkward social ability.

Am I saying you shouldn't write a character who loves comic books? No, but you shouldn't write a character who fits the exact nerd mold in every aspect. The same applies for all the other stereotypes.

Sometimes this can be tricky, so the the way to fix a stereotypical character is to add in different nerdy aspects, maybe some athletic aspects, or some other personality traits. Writing a smart athlete or an outgoing nerd easily differentiates the character from others.

So does having stereotypical characters in your writing mean your a terrible writer? Absolutely not. It just means you might have some issues to work out. I'd be lying if I said I don't have any of them in my current work in progress.

Do you have ways of changing stereotypical characters? Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments.

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