Once again this chapter is my own judgement, it may or may not be true, it's all up to you whether you trust my judgement or not.
Now lets get to the other part of character development, the characters themselves, this chapter isn't about how you write about them. How can I explain this, ehh this is an impact on your idea generation and not how you depict the character in the story.
Cliché characters is what I'm focusing on mostly this chapter, it's key to bringing out your imagination. I will also list some suggestions in each section as an example of my brilliant imagination, hehe. Anyway choose a genre and read on. Sorry in advance, there isn't every genre, I only include the genre's where I have solid feedback.
I suggest you select a genre first, cos this is gonna be a long chapter if you read everything.
Now first the Cliché, BATMAN, you wouldn't believe how many hero's and protagonists out there have a Batman complex. Let me summarise quickly, the hero has a tragic past, he trains hard to be strong motivated by his traumatic past, he fights against all ends and emerges victorious. Now, people only get to the Batman complex to avoid boring characters, when they want to make characters more interesting. Basically you are trying to avoid a perfect hero, and you get Batman.
So some points of the Batman complex:
- Tragic Past (its okay to have tragic past, but don't let it be too much like batman)
- Trains Hard
- Struggles against gifted enemies but emerges victorious, sometimes initially loses against opponent and comes back and in second fight emerges victorious
Now the Cliché, no analogy this time tho, basically there are two types, the heroine who just stands there looking good or desperate, or the heroine who stands there looking good but at one point shows a bit of power or strength, able to take care of herself. But in the end she will need the Hero to save her... the Hero then gets with the Heroine and happily ever after.
- Perfect Beauty, exactly how a dream girl would behave probably
- No flaws
- Finds herself in Danger, and then later saved by Hero, unharmed
Cliché antagonist, I will just go straight to the points, they summarise the villain perfectly.
- Extremely dangerous, and very challenging for the protagonist
- Selfish and hateful
- Readers hate him
- disregard for everything and everyone, cares only about himself and money and power
A Cliché friend is fine, its okay to use this guy in your story,
- Powerful, second to the Hero
- Funny and Happy unlike the Hero due to his tragic past
- Provides advice and/or trains Hero
- Sometimes ends up dead, which further motivates hero,
Some suggestions for these characters:
Hero: Funny/Unenthusiastic, Doesn't train hard for power but instead has power but has no idea what to do with it, morality issues, struggling with his own problems (not always tragic past, but maybe something more physical or mental). Some examples of non-cliché heroes: The Flash (even though he got tragic past), Iron Man, Hulk, Spiderman, Deadpool, Wolverine, Percy Jackson (although he doesn't have many defining qualities). Examples of cliché heroes: Harry Potter, Green Arrow.
Heroine: Clearly flawed, mental struggles, scarred after antagonist, clear problems with Hero, doesn't end up with hero in the end, has constant power or strength during story, saves hero many times, doesn't need to be saved.
Antagonist: Funny, very understandable, audience can understand his reasoning, audience feels attached to the antagonist, doesn't end up in a horrible way. Actually the best two depictions of an antagonist was the JOKER, and King Pin in Daredevil TV series. We actually see the romantic life of the antagonist with another person - not cliché at all, very interesting.
First cliché: Boy likes Girl, Girl like Boy, either way they end up together and great.
Second cliché: One sided love, Insignificant and worthless girl likes this famous popular perfect cute guy. Or Vice Versa. Eventually they end up together after famous guy understands girl and starts liking her.
Third cliché: Or famous person likes worthless one (50 shades of Grey). See alot of this in the 1D fan fics too.
- Problematic relationship
- Doesn't always end happily
- Guy/Girl like some parts of the person they like, but once they get to know them, they see a lot of problems, and struggle to accept how they really are
- Crush is un-reacheable and because of passive nature of protagonist, suddenly the Crush is in a relationship, and jealousy begins,
- Crush isn't the one he/she ends up with, but really the friend that was always there,
- Crush is super wild, and annoying, but gradual love, not love at first sight
Sorry that this section isn't like Adventure or Fantasy, it isn't my specialty, so there isn't much. But these suggestions should help. You probably know them already anyway.
Mystery and Suspense:
Cliché's in this genre are alright if the crime story is interesting.
Detective cliché: Basically a Sherlock, someone who is superb and talented, and really odd, has social problems. Solves murder intelligently.
Sidekick: Smart and intelligent but nowhere near the level of Detective. Admiring
Everyone else: Doesn't like the Detective because of his behaviour and are constantly awed
- The murder (or any other crime), is incredibly interesting, and unique story line.
- Can't solve murder alone, but is with the collective contribution of a team (The Detective team). Don't make it too much like NCIS though
- Detective is actually really stupid, and really bad, he is just pure lucky, being in the right places at the right times, like Detective Cruzo in Pink Panther
- Detective is actually not the protagonist,
- Detective facing many problems, can't focus on crime.
- Is the actual antagonist of the story
- Isnt the sane one, but the one who is the sherlock type, the one that notices things that are not in detail
- More than one sidekick?
- Sidekick is the murdered person
- Detective's fame is bad, or new, so is untrusted
- Detective fails many times, rival detective is also present,
You can refer to adventure and fantasy for this section too.
Even science fiction is short too, but here are some examples.
Super-Soldier: internally scared and childlike, commanding presence, strong and powerful, mental problems.
Suggestions: Super-soldier is actually the old model, new model is the worse one (kinda like terminator), Super-soldier isn't young or a kid, but an old man who wants a longer life,
Alien: Alien is scary and threat to the world
Suggestions: Alien is protagonist and tries to make peace with world, basically a superman
Time machine: Don't make it like Doctor Who, odd and strange but saves world, etc, there are common uses of how the world is going to end and stuff, but this cliche will be fine and wont bore the reader out of originality.
Apocalyptic: Hero is powerful, and survives encounter
Suggestions: Hero is actually weak and crying on the inside, only a tragic event causes him to be motivated to fight, but he is still weak. Uses mind instead of fighting skills to win.
Super hero: Person is over-powered and strong, and saves the world from an equally or strong super-villain. Super wants to lead normal life.
Suggestions: Hero becomes hated as he is wrongly accused of a crime, hero becomes wanted for crime, humans turn against hero, becomes mentally damaged but saves the day. Tragic death for the world. Hero is actually scared of himself/herself, don't want to use power, but gets forced into using it responsibly. Hero is from a family of heroes and has had huge expectations pushed on him/her, is very unskilled and wants to lead a normal life.
Military: A super strict head soldier, weaker protagonist who becomes stronger willed over time, or soldier's will power is tested but he pulls through becoming one of the greatest
Suggestions: Mental difficulty, Family difficulty, fear, dragged into something that they don't want, add romance, female soldier who is ahead of him in skill and strength. etc.
Futuristic: As long as it isn't anything that has been done already, anything is fine. Hero is spoiled and has a lot of high tech stuff, and uses it to save the world
Suggestions: Protagonist invents things, tries to impress a girl. Protagonist is poor and has no idea about the hi-tech stuff but then gets an opportunity.
Thriller and Horror:
This last one, doesn't even need originality. If it is scary you can use the same characters it doesn't matter. The scare part of a Horror will over weigh everything else. But here are some characters I've noticed. Character always opens the door, when hearing something goes towards the noise. Character is challenged to escape and survive.
Well sorry for this long chapter, but read what you will, and I'm sorry again for the poetry fans and music fans. I have absolutely no clue what to do there. Go find another tip elsewhere. If you insist on advice this is the only one I can say, get a structure, or something that happens in each line, write it down first, then edit. Basically don't go for the rhymes and techniques and stuff until you have what the poem is about done, dusted and out of the way. Lyrics sorry, no way am I good at that stuff.
Well I hope this helped, pls comment if you have any questions on your characters. If u give a brief description I can say if they are cliched or not. I can even suggest some stuff too.