Character cliches and tropes are almost always negative, and can quite often imply that an author has not taken enough time to develop their character, or that they are relying on stereotypes to paint their character’s identity. We’ve sat down and compiled a list of character tropes that we wish existed, and that we think authors could use instead.
The Badass Who Loves Cats
He’s a bad boy that doesn’t play by the rules. He breaks hearts and laws all the same. . He seems invincible, untouchable – but he’s got one weakness that paws at his hearts: cats. We can already imagine a story in which someone falls for this rebel without a cause, only to come home with him to find he’s got two cats who he treats like royalty!
The farmer stereotype in media usually portrays a man in overalls throwing heavy hay bales with his bare hands. Usually, he’s some kind of older “grandfather” character, with old-fashioned views on life and society. But we know from experience that farmers come in more flavors than just one. We’d love to see a romance story featuring two farmers who are members of the LGBT community, and how their unconventional farm ways affect their dating lives. Yeehaw!
We spoke to an Arab friend recently who expressed deep frustration with the way Arabs are usually portrayed in media. In his view, it’s rare to see an Arab character that he can relate to. The average Arab in media is either trying to break free from overbearing parents or portraying any number of negative, racist stereotypes. For once, our friend said, he’d love to read about an Arab character that’s just as goofy and nerdy as he is. Someone who likes comic books and fandoms, and who spends his days playing video games, or watching superhero films.
Smart People Who Are Also Kind
We’ve all come across the typical “smug nerd” character in a story. They know everything and frequently have the social skills or patience to make them likable. We’d love to see more well-developed characters who are smart and solve problems, but who are also kind to those around them, and who have more depth than just inelegance.
Non-Binary People Who Are Normal
It’s rare to see non-binary characters in media. In the rare cases that a non-binary character is well-developed, they are almost always a caricature of queerness, with the author trying to tick off as many LGBTQ+ stereotypes in one go. In reality, the non-binary experience is not nearly as glamourous or over-the-tp, with the average “enbie” wanting to simply be accepted for who they are.
Plus-Sized People Who Are Also Fit
The role of plus-sized people in media is almost always as comic relief. In reality, millions of plus-sized people live happy lives and don’t appreciate only being portrayed negatively in media. A character who is both curvy and a fitness fanatic would do wonders for representation and could help show the world that there are many different kinds of “healthy” bodies.
Bisexuals Who Are Serious
Bisexuality is a valid sexual identity, in which a person is attracted to both men and women. In media, bisexual women are usually portrayed as not really being interested in women, or as only being bisexual after a night of drinking. In the real world, bisexuals of any gender are not just sexual playthings, but rather people who fall in love with others for who they are, not what they are. We’d love to see more stories about bisexual love that acknowledge bisexuality as a serious sexual identity.
Have you read, or even better, written a story with one of these characters in it? We want to know! Our CEO especially wants to hear about the badass with cats! 😉