1. Gholin
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    Gholin Member

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    Loveable rogues and conflicted Gangsters

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Gholin, Jan 17, 2013.

    Hey there.

    In fiction, we have many examples of loveable, semi-good rogues as well as conflicted gangsters on the road to redemption and escape from their mob lives. I have two pieces of work that involve such characters as well, but I want them to be different, because haven't these types of characters been done enough? How can I breathe new life into these tired archtypes? Is writing such a character just a recipe for stupidity? I want to write about a gangster who wakes up one day feeling different, and experiences several things that change his outlook, leading to a drastic choice.

    I also want to write another story involving a decent thief who is a criminal, but also decides to help someone in need.

    Even though I want to make them both deep characters, it seems that characters like them exist in droves out there. Any advice? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Salamander
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    Don't try to avoid cliche's completely. You can't, for one, and two you'll drive yourself nuts. You've already acknowledged the archetypes in your work, the way you make them your own is through good characterization and connecting with the reader. Subvert a few of the tropes within the "Charming Rouge/Conflicted Gangster" archetypes, and make sure that the person really develops over the course of the story. Once you've sold your readers on the character, they won't much mind that someone else has done something similar before.
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Make them their own people, even though they generally fit into a broader character type that we've seen before. Put a little bit of yourself in each character. Give them quirks and pet peeves. Give them rants and opinions on silly things. In short, give the character a personality. Make him complex -- make him do one thing that is the opposite of what you would expect him to do. Spend time with your characters by writing scenes with them to see what these things are.
     
  4. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    The only thing that's been done too many times before is bad writing. If you feel your characters aren't up to scratch, it's the writing, not the archetype, that is the problem.
     
  5. kev675
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    kev675 Member

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    Ia agree
     
  6. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Its not bad to do an archetypical like that because there are no archetypes that haven't been done. Its how you present the character to us in a different way that breathes life into because the reader isn't going to say "he's just another rogue type" or at least I hope not.

    You want the reader to understand that he's that type through characterization.
     
  7. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Very true. I'm strongly of the opinion that there's actually a shortage of people that manage to pull off the loveable rogue archetype well.

    What most writers seem to neglect is the "loveable" aspect: They just assume that because a character is smarmy and cocksure, everyone will love them.

    Take the time to make the character's internal workings appealing to the audience and you'll have a loveable character - rogue or not.
     
  8. Gholin
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    Gholin Member

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    Thanks for all your replies! They helped me realize it's okay to write something considered overdone, if you take your own approach to it and give your characters life and depth :)

    Now, I'm not only going to write about these, but dang it, I'm gonna still include my dwarves in another story. I don't care if dwarves are overdone. I like them.
     

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