Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Even More Characters That Need To Go Away

Yeah, another one of these because there’s supposed to be a hurricane and even if the chances of the power going out are remote, I like to be prepared and as such I’m posting something I’ve had lying around for a while. I’d hate for you to be left without my opinions for more than a day.
You know you love them.

So here are more characters I can live without:

The Detective that’s not even a cop
Now, this isn’t to impugn cozy mysteries, where the character probing a crime/strange goings on isn’t a detective. This is more the characters that go investigate crimes like they’re cops all the time. They ask questions, take evidence (even if they’re not qualified to and from what I gather, that creates a big stink during trial), and are always treated like they’re cops even though they’ve never gone through any of the training and years of experience that’s standard for becoming a detective. Either this has to stop or I’m going down to the police station and demanding they let me investigate crimes. I’m sure you’ll read about how that goes in the newspaper.

The Super Soldier
Usually it’s a man who is the amazing, ass-kicking, martial arts master with the reflexes of a cat on Adderall, but occasionally it’s a woman. Either way the character has drifted into cliché territory. Not every character has to be the best fighter to be interesting. You can—gasp—give them other traits that color their personality and make them actual people.

The Jerkass with a Heart of Gold
If a character is surly, rude, and pushes everyone away, you just know they’re going to turn out to be the good guy. I’ve seen this a little too much in YA romances, where the brooding, aloof male doesn’t get along with the female at first but once she catches him in an act of kindness they overcome their differences and fall in love. It’s basically PRIDE AND PREJUDICE except, I don’t know, maybe Darcy is a vampire this time.

The Amnesiac
From what I understand, amnesia where you totally forget everything about your life, name, family, whatever, is really rare. When it does happened, it’s usually not from a simple bump to the head but from a mix of psychological and physiological traumas. As with most things, I blame Hollywood for this.

That’s all for now. If you’re NaNoing right now...what are you doing reading this? Get back to work!


  1. Interesting post. I agree with you some characters are so over used, they are a cliche. I think it is lazy writers to rely on some hackneyed stereotype. the sort of novel that reads like a film script.

  2. Amnesia is an interesting idea, but it has been done to death. So, agreed, no more!

  3. Somewhere, someone is writing Mr. Darcy as a vampire who helps the police solve crimes when he's not busy displaying his previously unmentioned martial arts skills.

  4. And for good measure, they're making this vampiric detective martial artist Darcy unable to remember who he really is...


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