Are you utilizing stock characters in your stories?
Stock characters are often taken from source material, in some cases as a tribute and other times as a blatant rip-off. Such characters are troublesome when they feature plainly in a story and have no characteristics that separate them from the character upon which they are based.
Think of it: you are the creator of all the characters in your story. You may have based them on characters or people you love and understand (or loathe). You might have conjured them from your creativity. However they are all coming from you: your thoughts, your experiences, and your voice.
I went back and evaluated the text and noticed that these two characters were indistinct. They were essentially the exact same character.
You can clone a human being (or a character), however once the clone comes into existence, it will immediately start changing and ending up being various from the initial. By nature, the initial and the clone are exactly the very same, however nurture (or life experience) will cause the clone to deviate from the initial.
At initially the protagonist, Lisbeth Salander, seems like a surly punk, the kind of character weve seen a million times in the past. As the story progresses and Lisbeth moves to center stage, we discover theres more to her than meets the eye. She is a moral person with distinct obstacles– one of the most appealing characters in contemporary fiction.
While Ive never blended up 2 characters in a book I was checking out in the past, I have noticed that characters who act, think, and speak similarly prevail. And while a cast of characters who are comparable to each other in every way possible does not always make a story bad, a cast of characters who are noticeably distinct from each other is better.
We often speak about stock characters in literature. You know them: the mad researcher, the bad little rich kid, the hard-boiled investigator. These characters have a location in storytelling. When readers fulfill a sassy, gum-popping waitress in a story, they right away know who she is. Theyve seen that character in other books and films. Possibly theyve even come across waitresses like her in real life. These characters are familiar, however theyre also generic.
You can definitely write a story about a young wizard who is based on Harry Potter, but you have to differentiate your character from Harry. Make the character a girl, provide her a hearing aid instead of glasses, and create a memorable name that doesnt right away bring Harry Potter to mind. And provide your character her own character and challenges.
Nature vs. Nurture: How to Avoid Cloned Characters
This got me to thinking about the value of developing a cast of characters who are special and unique from each other instead of a cast of stock characters who are mere clones of one another.
As the book I was just recently checking out shows, we likewise have to see out for cloning characters within our own stories. For most writers, this is a larger issue than cloning characters out of other authors stories.
When we utilize a stock character as a protagonist or any other primary character, we need to offer the character unique qualities so the character does not come off as dull or generic. Its fine to have a sassy, gum-popping waitress make a single look in a story, but if shes a protagonist, shes going to need much deeper, more complex advancement so the readers no longer feel as if they already know her. She needs to end up being fascinating and fresh.
I was just recently reading an unique, and a couple of chapters in, I recognized I had blended up 2 of the primary characters. I had actually been reading them as if they were a single character. Im a pretty sharp reader, and this has actually never ever occurred before, so I attempted to figure out why I d made the mistake. Was I tired? Hungry? Not paying attention?
Here are some ideas to make certain your characters are special and not clones of each other or any character or individual they are based on:
Give your characters unique and remarkable names. Prevent providing characters names that sound alike. Dont use names that begin with the very same letter and are the same length, and dont utilize names that rhyme.
Unless youre writing a household saga, ensure your characters dont all look alike. Try establishing a diverse cast of characters.
Characters speech patterns will depend on where theyre from, but people also have their own quirky expressions and sayings. Use discussion to differentiate the characters from each other. Maybe one character swears a lot while another calls everyone by labels.
Create profile complete with backstories. If you know your characters thoroughly, youll be less most likely to represent them as a lot of clones.
To help you envision your characters, search for photos of stars, models, and other public figures that you can utilize to help your imagination fill in the blanks.
As soon as youve developed your cast, ask whether any of them are stock characters. Make them more special if any of your main characters feel like stock characters.
Are You Using Stock Characters? Are Your Characters a Bunch of Clones?
How much attention do you pay to your characters when youre writing a story? What strategies do you use to be familiar with your characters and make certain they are all distinct? Have you ever noticed stock characters or cloned characters in a story youve checked out? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment, and keep writing!
The main issue with the book I pointed out at the start of this post was that there were 2 characters who were basically operating as a single entity, at least for the first four or five chapters, which is as far as I got in the book. Together, they shared the same function or function within the story. The very best repair for that issue would have been to combine the two characters into a single character, something I have actually needed to do in one of my fiction tasks that had a couple of too numerous names and faces.
When we utilize a stock character as a lead character or any other primary character, we have to offer the character unique qualities so the character doesnt come off as dull or generic. Such characters are problematic when they feature plainly in a story and have no traits that separate them from the character upon which they are based. You can definitely write a story about a young wizard who is based on Harry Potter, but you have to differentiate your character from Harry. The finest fix for that problem would have been to integrate the two characters into a single character, something I have actually had to do in one of my fiction jobs that had a few too numerous names and deals with.
Have you ever discovered stock characters or cloned characters in a story youve checked out?