Wednesday, September 5, 2012
We see a certain type of dog and think it might be vicious. With people, we see the way a person dresses or notice their tattoos and we think something. I think my experience as a teacher has taught me to judge a person by their actions and not by their appearance. The outside package isn't always a true advertisement of what is inside.
In writing, stereotyping can make a story boring. I have some lists I picked up at a conference once that compile all the personality traits of heroes and villains. But a reader doesn't want the protagonist to be too perfect or their antagonist to be without any redeeming qualities. But it's more than that. Memorable characters are often those quirky ones.
What if the alpha male in your contemporary story always read the society page before the sports page? Could the popular mean girl in YA please not be a beautiful blonde? In how may YA dystopian novels are the main characters orphans?
So check your own writing? Are you writing stereotypical characters? What quirks do some of your main characters have?