1. MajorInkSpill
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    MajorInkSpill Member

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    Avoiding Cliche Characters or Falling Into Them?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by MajorInkSpill, Oct 22, 2008.

    Well, am I doing one, the other, or both? Seriously, this is ridiculous...

    Okay, example: MC is happy kind of guy, doing an errand for his mom. Comes back to house after taking longer than usual to purchase something. Sees a very out-of-place man coming form his house. Man leaves, MC barges in to see what the Hel just happened, Mother is dead, breaks down sobbing.

    Realizes man must be scout from the invaders most liekly coming from a neighboring coutnry that had been threatening them for years, runs to tell town. They don't believe him, he brings two people who might to see dead motehr, they do and convince everyone else. MC is up on rampart when enemy army appears, sees the man was actually the General, hurls insutl and weapons defiantly. Then, in a lull of the threats, he dissapears and is going to attempt to blow the enemy camp to the moon on his own.

    Am I being, eh,... 'real' enough to keep my MC from becoming a cliche MC, or have I already sunk into it up to my eyeballs? Ask if you want to see some more thorough explainations or excertps from the story.
     
  2. Scarlett_156
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    Scarlett_156 Active Member

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    The only way that we could know if the character is a cliche is if you provide an example of how you're writing about him. The situation could be somewhat cliched, depending on how you handle it--that shouldn't keep you from just going ahead and writing it out, though. If nothing else, it will be good practice. yours in Chaos, Scarlett
     
  3. Kylie
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    Kylie Contributing Member

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    It seems like you're asking us what we think about the plot, not the character. Remember, having a could-be-cliche character should not keep you from writing...
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Characters aren't cliche - they're stereotypes, or not.

    But like most things in writing, it all comes down to how well it is written, and for what purpose. The attributes of your character are not what it's about. What matters is how your character responds to surrounding events, interaction with other vharacter, complexity, and growth.
     
  5. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    Characters can be rote, boring, and cliche. Stereotypes is the perception a character has against others. For instance, if you see an Asian person you automatically assume he is smart, excels in math, and has a small wang. Stereotypes is the biased feelings towards another because the color of his skin or the his economical status, without realizing they go hand in hand. Cliche is something tried and done many times over because it is fashionable and illicits the same response, until the vogue fades away.
     
  6. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    It is best to avoid cliches, and instead focus on the stereotypes--in order to dispell the myth through a shocking page turning character revelation, later in your story. Have a black man excel in science or math. Have an Asian man be illiterate and dirt poor. Have a hispanic man own three houses and a car with a white maid.
     
  7. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    No disrespect meant but, why don't you just write and see where it goes? Put your plan together and get in there, or simply jump in and let your imaginative juices take you downriver to a better place.
     
  8. DragonGrim
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    DragonGrim Contributing Member

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    The advice I could give is this: write about whomever you want to, but try to see through their eyes, or use your own, and try to find something different, a new perspective on an old worn-out, stereotypical characterization.
     
  9. MajorInkSpill
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    MajorInkSpill Member

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    Mmmm, most of you pretty much told me to kust keep writing it, and believe me I intend to. But a few things are just starting to...bug me. You know what, I think I'll just finish the thing first...fix what I have to when it's all drafted out.

    Thanks guys! :D
     
  10. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't say much about the character, it could go well or not depending on how you write him. The thing that popped into my head is "What reason did this scout have to kill his mother, why was he in the house, why didn't he have a better disguise, and what about it makes him think it's a scout from the other kingdom instead of a regular murder?"
     
  11. Little Miss Edi
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    Little Miss Edi Contributing Member

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    I wouldn't worry so much about the cliche thing but if it really is bothering you think: your MC comes home and his mum is dead - would he cry/scream/rage? whichever one it right for him/his character is the one you should go with. The people that he shows his dead mother to - would they believe him/ think he murdered her/ think that it was a one off burgularly (go with me there I'm struggling ;) )? Whichever is right for them, is right. Doesn't matter if it's a cliche or not, they need to give honest, realistic answers that fit their characters. There's no point trying to avoid a cliche and writing characters that don't fit themselves.

    Anyway, chin up. You'll be just fine, write 'em and see what happens - just be honest.
    Good luck!
     

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