1. JessaNova
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    JessaNova Senior Member

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    Characters you're sick of seeing.

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by JessaNova, Aug 13, 2010.

    I know there's one thing that will definitely keep me from reading a story, and it's a character who's always the underdog, then prevails at the end. When I read romance novels, it's always the 'average-looking' girl with the extremely attractive man. Whom has the perfect manners, best personality, and is completely considerate and charming. Yet the girl is always questioning herself and he somehow makes her realize how wonderful she really is.

    Any you guys are tired of seeing?

    From Wreybies:

    Better than just gripe about tropes which you are tired of seeing/reading, how about discussing what you might do differently to create a story that is more interesting, more intriguing and less formulaic. We can, every one of us, tick off dozens of tropes which get under our skin, but as writers, we should be thinking in the other direction. Creation, not deconstruction.

    Wrey
     
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  2. QueenVictoria73
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    QueenVictoria73 Member

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    The calous fighter girl who has to get past some horrible traumatizing experience in her childhood and is softened up by Gary Stu in he end.
     
  3. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    Not too much comes to mind. But I can think of two I could live without.

    One is the typical "I am evil because I can be!" kind of villain. I love the bad guys, but not if they have no reason for being bad. If it's something as simple as greed, jealousy, or insanity, that's fine, but don't just make him evil for the sake of being evil.

    And the other one is the one that makes me literally roll my eyes every time I see it: the humble farm boy/blacksmith turned hero. It was fine the first few times, but now I'm just sick of it. If I read a plot summary that hints at such a beginning for the savior of the kingdom, I'm shelving the book without a second thought.
     
  4. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    That will be about 90 percent of the romance novel, but strangely I like them :) I also like rags to riches type characters. What I hate? hmmm I hate crusader type chars who tries to cleanse the world of evil forces... and I might get killed for this... I hate Harry Potter
     
  5. QueenVictoria73
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    QueenVictoria73 Member

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    Oh dear. I love Harry Potter, but everyone's entitled to their own oppionion.
     
  6. Shinn
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    Shinn Banned

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    I hate the character's who are immortal and have way to many powers; seems as if they've come straight out of a fantasy video game to me.
     
  7. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    I hate rich, spoiled characters with angst who have to go live in a Tuscan Villa or go away on holiday to India, Tokyo, Paris, or (fill in the blank) to reconnect with themselves.
     
  8. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I hate characters like Bella Swan (Twilight...ew) who are dependent on their boyfriends/husbands and have no backbone or independence of their own. Especially when this type of relationship is portrayed in a positive light.

    I also hate when a character starts off being free/ambitious/independent/powerful/etc and gives it all up as soon as they meet Mr. or Mrs. Right, becoming clingy and dependent on their partner instead.

    Oh, and any type of Mary Sue character with a name like Butterfly, Star, Raven etc who is constantly vulnerable in this cutesy "poor me, love me" way.
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Its not a specific type of character I read so much from everywhere, however I don't like main characters I can't get a a connection to or warm to. Jean-Baptiste Grenouille from Perfume and Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye are my worst examples I saw nothing in them to redeem them. I like characters I can admire and identify with on some level.
     
  10. Tamsin
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    Tamsin Senior Member

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    I'm sick of the hard bitch business woman. She slams doors, overworks employees, double crosses people, horrible to everyone, catty and sly, devoid of emotion (except anger) but is secretly lonely.

    It seems like people stereotype ambitious/intelligent/career-focused women as completely devoid of feelings and rational thought, as if you can't be a nice person and successful/ambitious if you are a woman. So annoying...

    :/
     
  11. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The hero that always just means well, does their best, and if they brake any norm is in a totally understandable manner (like being plain-spoken and relaxed, not caring about their looks, or being honest).

    If I wanted that I would rather pick a Labrador retriever as main character.
     
  12. Phlogiston
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    Phlogiston Member

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    I'm sick of reading about good guys (or gals) who are 'forced' to hurt/kill/maim/torture/annihilate others even though they don't want to.

    Having your cake and eating it (destructive but morally clean heroes) is a simple, unrealistic way out. Life is complex, stories are complex, people are complex. Why shy away?
     
  13. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't say I am sick of any one type of character since a truly great author will put an enjoyable spin on said character type. If the characters piss me off, I blame the character type less than I do the lack of creativity on the part of the author.
     
  14. Motley
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    Motley Active Member

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    I always disliked the runaway princess type character. The poor little rich girl. Here's a girl who has everything, and enough power to change it if she doesn't like it. But she still has to run away and probably meet up with that farm boy who ends up saving her from a dragon, metaphorically speaking.

    Unless, she has good reason to run away, such as abuse or whatever. It's hard not to find it cliche though, in my opinion.
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't see anything productive about this thread. Characters are not defined by a capsule description.

    No writer should look at characters in such a shallow way.
     
  16. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Surely this thread is more about being a reader than a writer? I think its important a lot of writers forget about the reader when writing. Hence the drivel that tends to win literary prizes. There are naturally exceptions to that but nothing usually turns me off a books quicker than seeing 'Winner' or 'Runner up in the Booker Prize.'

    Listening to the fantasy readers that have responded to my cliche threads has given me a much better book than I could have written without them.
     
  17. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I'm sick of seeing a bad guy with a back story that feels like it was just thrown in to stop them from being 'Evil for the sake of it'. It just feels cheap.
     
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  18. Nobeler Than Lettuce
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    Nobeler Than Lettuce Contributing Member

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    The Machiavellian bad guy with an accent. Die Hard did it just fine, you don't need to keep bringing it back. I'm talking to you, The Matrix, how on earth did you decide the last living person in Jesus's bloodline was best as a french tart?
     
  19. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I don't particularly care if the hero's a blacksmith or a farmboy/girl. All I care about is if something's different about him/her.

    What I DO NOT want to see with the dear blacksmith or farmboy is this.

    They're 100% precious, beautiful, lover of all things. Will cry a butt load of tears if he/she even thinks she sees a poor kitty pinned down by a rake. They're courageous, pure of heart, will do no evil.

    That is what I don't want to see. I want to see a blacksmith/farmer that's completely insane, a blacksmith/farmer that will let a village burn if it fulfills a step in his goal. A sort of man/woman that will spare no enemy, give no second chances, a man/woman that isn't into saving the world because it's the right thing to do, but because he wants a challenge and if he doesn't think fighting for the good side is challenging enough...Oh dear!

    For you see, the law, the people, they're just playthings for the farmer/blacksmith. He/she will do what he/she wants.

    THAT'S the blacksmith/farmer I want to read about.
     
  20. Capt Bob
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    Capt Bob Senior Member

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    Better light your lamp and hit the trail Diogenes, you're lookin' in the wrong places. That Farmer would have been exposed as a youth when all the animals went missing. Now he's just another caged nut, no different from the rest.

    The Blacksmith might work, as now you're stepping back in history where more literary license is granted.

    You'll need the lamp as most of your characters tend to inhabit the darker world of the drug addicted, vacant building, tenants.

    Another fertile lode to mine is that of the Writer, who can afford to be a loner with his creativity for support, and a mind accustomed to wander outside "normal acceptance". An Edgar Allen Poe comes to mind, with a ready supply of consciousness expanders to justify his wayward journey through the ranks of his fellow man.
     
  21. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    "Friend of All Living Things" is a Mary/Gary category LOL
     
  22. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    And that's why I don't want to see it. :)
     
  23. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I would gladly watch the whole Mary Sue/Gary Stu labelling thing swirl down with everything else that floats in the bowl.

    I would venture a guess that maybe one out of every five times the label is used, the person using it knows what the term means (and that may be generous). It has largely become a kneejerk appellation for any character the speaker feels isn't tortured enough.

    A Mary Sue/Gary Stu is author self-insertion as a fantasy fulfilment character. An example is Wesley Crusher of Star Trek: The Next Generation, admitted by Wesley Eugene Roddenberry to be there as a surrogate for his own dreams to serve aboard a starship.
     
  24. Nobeler Than Lettuce
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    Nobeler Than Lettuce Contributing Member

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    This may be sidetracking, but does anyone else think the tendency to be bigger, better, and grittier is really pervasive in the industry today? I feel like if The Next Generation had been written in the 00s we'd certainly see Wesley struck dead by the end of Season one (Tasha Yarr having been decapitated five minutes into the first episode) following finally with an epic sword battle between Picard and Q on top of a mountain of alternate timeline Riker skulls.

    Worf will be there too.

    Kind of sick of those types of characters. I love Battlestar Galactica and Caprica but those shows have an abundance. I reason with myself by saying it's because their planet was destroyed/daughters were exploded by terrorists. But everyone struts around all badass like, and that's the major complaint I hear people bring up.
     
  25. jonathan hernandez13
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    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

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    You said it, when I was watching every episode and season of SG1 and Atlantis (because I'm a mega-nerd) I noticed that every year the villains became more heinous, there were more fatalities, more planets and ships destroyed, etc. The missions became suicidal and the characters were thrown into desperate situations where they shouldnt have survived and yet did somehow.

    Part of it is I think just a generic kind of tendency that a show has to do in order to trump the previous season and please the fans, and I'm okay with that. I still love Stargate even though there was a great deal of unnecessary death and destruction. I just don't like needless killing, and when the characters just gloss over someone's dying I think it's unrealisic and insensitive, in real life stuff like that is supposed to be traumatic.

    And my list of characters I can do without is kind of short, there are a few that annoy me, but the one that really makes me sick:

    Super-badass without any weaknesses who is (for some reason that's never well explained) loved by all and is known to be a "good guy/girl". I see this alot in RPG's from players that are not used to storytelling and obsessed with vicariously living out their fantasies through an invincible avatar. Undefeatable uber-characters, good or bad, are boring. It is our faults that makes us interesting, and to err is human.
     

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