How do you write a character that falls into a character archetype without falling into cliches?

Asked by: Brian Frank

How do you write a non cliche character?

6 Ways to Avoid Character Cliches in Your Writing

  1. Focus on Your Character’s Origin Story. …
  2. Go In Depth With Character Description. …
  3. Give Your Characters a Range of Emotions. …
  4. Give Your Character a Sense of Motivation. …
  5. Give Your Character Fears and Flaws. …
  6. Give Your Character Strengths.


Is an archetype a cliche?

An example of a cliché might include the TV firefighter haunted by the memory of the one damsel in distress that he couldn’t save. An archetype, by contrast, does not imply predictability or intellectual laziness. Most of the time, it suggests that a character or situation will speak to a universal truth.

How are archetypes useful in writing vs a cliche?

It’s not a matter of coming up with a twist and otherwise appropriating a previously created world. That’s when projects fall into cliche. The way you use archetype is by telling the familiar arc in an entirely new world with its own rules, with unique characters, and in a unique style.

How do you subvert a cliche?

To subvert your own characters:

  1. Identify a list of character clichés usually associated with their type (e.g. ‘warrior’ equals ‘strong’).
  2. Think of how stock character types (such as “mentors”) have typical behavioural features. …
  3. Then create a character to fit that mold perfectly…


How do you write no sounding on cringe?

6 Tips to Avoid and Fix Bad Writing

  1. Read Out Loud. This is the first step to checking your piece for awkward writing: read it out loud. …
  2. Shorten Your Sentences. One of the best ways to avoid awkward writing is to take out every unnecessary word, phrase, and sentence. …
  3. Be Specific. …
  4. Re-Word. …
  5. Tighten. …
  6. Delete.
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How do you avoid clichés in academic writing?

How to get rid of clichés

  1. Research or brainstorm some more. If you are relying on clichés, you might not have prepared enough for your writing assignment. …
  2. Stop and think about what you’re trying to say. …
  3. Try to pinpoint exactly what you want to say, and write it! …
  4. Ask yourself questions as you write.


What are the 12 common archetypes?

There are twelve brand archetypes: The Innocent, Everyman, Hero, Outlaw, Explorer, Creator, Ruler, Magician, Lover, Caregiver, Jester, and Sage.

What are some examples of archetypes?

Example 1. The most famous example of an archetype is the Hero. Hero stories have certain elements in common – heroes generally start out in ordinary circumstances, are “called to adventure,” and in the end must confront their darkest fear in a conflict that deeply transforms the hero.

What’s the difference between a cliché and a stereotype?

A stereotype is a character who has been portrayed in the same manner, with the same aspects of character, so many times before you’re already familiar with them. A cliché is an overused phrase. So a stereotype is an overused character. They share a lot in common.

What is a subverted trope?

All that “subverting” a trope means is that you (the creator) have set up a common idea or approach for the audience that surprises the audience by turning into something else (and sometimes, trope subversion is done often enough that it becomes a trope of its own).

What does it mean to deconstruct a character?

Deconstructing a trope involves taking an existing trope, playing it straight, and examining the likely/realistic consequences or implications of that trope that tend to be ignored by straight examples of it. This trope does the same thing, but for fictional character archetypes.

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How do you write subvert tropes?

So something expected and familiar becomes suddenly new and exciting the first step to subverting a trope is to understand the trope. Really. Really well a lot of time readers write tropes.

What is subversion in writing?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, subversion is the act of undermining something, usually an established system or institution. Normally, the term is applied to politics, as in subverting the government. But you can also use subversion in fiction to make your plot, characters, and dialogue more interesting.

What subverted means?

transitive verb. 1 : to overturn or overthrow from the foundation : ruin. 2 : to pervert or corrupt by an undermining of morals, allegiance, or faith.

How do you subvert a genre?

To subvert, you must understand, respect and love your genre. To subvert, you must establish an understanding of the genre, make the audience aware of the context and set-up, then take a sharp left turn.

What is a subverted genre?

Subverting a trope is just writing against any “formula” the audience has come to expect (even subconsciously) from a genre; be it horror, romantic comedy, action/adventure, war or drama. It can be a minor part of the movie or a major component of it. It is a way of injecting surprise into the work.

How do you subvert expectations in a story?

“Subverting expectations” is a literary term and technique that has to do with using plot twists in a story to surprise and challenge an audience. Storytellers subvert expectations using a variety of techniques in a wide range of mediums like film, television, fiction, and video games.

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