As diverse and creative as writers can be, they nonetheless can fall into a rut where they do nothing but regurgitate the same old components over and over again.
This isn’t to say that writers don’t try to innovate, but I’ve found that even when writers try to break new ground, they turn over dirt that has already been plowed.
With that in mind, I wish to present my list of 4 characters that I would like to see, or see more of.
1: The Cheerful Villain
No, I don’t mean the grinning madman famously popularized by Batman’s nemesis, the Joker.
Fiction is overflowing with the stereotypical bad guy who enjoys threatening people with gross and macabre punishments, enjoying every moment of cruelty.
True, these villains seem to enjoy their work, one can’t call them cheerful, and they are always portrayed as the worst sort of humanity.
For the sake of contrast, can’t we create a villain who is polite, doesn’t cut in line, smiles kindly at passerby, and just happens to work as a hitman?
Just once please?
2: Good Parents
Yes, I know that strife is the very lifeblood of drama, but in the vast world of fiction, good parents are as rare as honest politicians.
Bad parents and bad parenting run rampant through books and stories.
An abusive homelife, hopes and dreams frustrated by pigheaded mothers or fathers, and neglect can be found in most books by simply sticking a thumb into a random page.
Yes, these things are prevalent in our world, but writing is not intended to replicate the world in which we live, but to sometimes provide an escape from it.
On another point, although there are many victims of poor parenting, there is a vast army of excellent parents in our world. These unsung heroes are underrepresented in storytelling.
Again, this is a request for writers to create the characters who are good parents only for contrast.
3: Wheelchair Confined Protagonists
This one is odd, but I don’t think I have ever read a story where the main character is confined to a wheelchair.
I realize such a character has so many limitations that it makes my head spin. This is largely why I want to see a paraplegic hero so badly.
Chesterton said that the artist loves boundaries. Its’ true that creative people love to have limitations set before them if only to give them a challenge.
I want to see a guy kick butt and save the world without ever standing up.
4: Characters Who Hate Reading
This is a big one, and it’s all based on perception.
Think for a moment: how many songs are about a person who loves music?
How many movies about a kid who watches movies all day?
Have you noticed how much time sitcom families spend watching TV?
One last one: How many book protagonists are avid readers?
Answer: A lot.
This is only natural. Creators within a certain medium (television, books, movies, music, etc.) are bound so self advertise their own medium.
It stands to reason. If I liked movies more than books, I wouldn’t be writing books, would I? I would be making movies instead.
Someone once said that all fiction is autobiographical. Since all books are written by men and women who like to read, the characters of these books are invariably bookworms.
This can become monotonous. Not only is it monotonous, but it is slightly unfair. Books are not the only form of entertainment, and there are many people who do not enjoy reading.
For contrast, I want to read a book about a guy or gal who doesn’t like reading.
These are the things I want to see, if only to stand out in a crowd of predictable books.
What kind of characters would you like to see more of? -BW