Character Development


New member
So I've been sitting at my computer for what seems like weeks at a time, trying to redo the characters in my next feature. I've been accused of writing characters that are too much like stereotypes. Now, my characters may display some signs of the cliche, however, there is a reason that cliches exist if you really sit down and think about it. I was even accused of writing the "stereotypical gay, black musician." I didn't know that was an actual archetype, but okay.

On the other hand, I've been accused of writing the same characters as too individualistic. One of my mentors suggested that I turn the characters more into stereotypes because, as we all know, it's easier for an audience to identify with a cliche instead of an inside joke that only you and your friends would laugh at.

What's everybody's thoughts on this?


Senior Member
I would try as much as possible to not aim to write cliches or things that are predictable. There's a difference between just being predictable versus using writing techniques to purposely move your audience to think or believe in certain ways for important reasons.

There's a difference between writing a character that is predictable versus a character that is a negative stereotype or encourages negative stereotypes.

Different people are going to give you different opinions and feedback for different reasons, and whether or not to write a cliche character depends on what you are writing, why, and for who ... etc. ...


New member
Go for the cliche, but don´t push it. What producers and agents want is something new, fresh. But they also don´t want to be on an alien homeworld with the main character being a dumb blond who always trips while rinning away from her pursuers. You can kind of revise on both sides, creating common characterisics into fresh characters.

Also, even though you may be using cliched characters, that doesn´t mean they have to say something like, ¨Go ahead. Make my day.¨


This is a toughy...

This is a toughy...

I think generally, the plot is almost always going to be clich?. The one thing in your film that can be truly unique is your characters; you design the world the character lives in (or dies) and you decide what choices they will make that will lead them to the inevitable conclusion. I think the trouble with a lot of Hollywood writing these days is: the characters are incredibly thin and greater focus has been placed on special effects and the overall "look" of the film. All the characters seem to blend together, don't they? Look at your average teenager flick; it's usually about a guy who's trying to get laid and a girl who is more mature than him or some youth who grew up with psycho parents. I wouldn't get too discouraged when someone says that your work is clich?. Most of the stories in this world have already been told; if you're looking to avoid clich?, write about a character who would ordinarily be "uninteresting" and give us a good reason to think the opposite. Now that's the trick! :wink: [/b]
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