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Start writing fiction: characters and stories
Start writing fiction: characters and stories

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5.2.1 Enriching stereotypes

Figure 5

Recalling the real life characters in our video Keeping track of useful details [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , do any of these suggest a stereotype to you?

If so, can you think of a way in which you might develop such characters beyond stereotype?

Novakovich suggests that showing the contradictions in characters is one way of making them ‘round’. Taking a stereotype and portraying it in a way that goes against the usual expectations is an effective way of making them more complex.

For example:

  • the bullying headmaster with a tender sentimental side
  • the meticulous manager who lives in a messy house
  • the shy librarian who goes bungee-jumping
  • the habitual flirt who avoids relationships.