Sunday, January 19, 2014

From Cliche to Creative with Jeannie Campbell


We had a great time Saturday with licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Jeannie Campbell. She spoke about the ins and outs of using and breaking character stereotypes in our writing. There's a time and a place to do both. We can use stereotypes for invisible characters that pop in and out of our fiction for no real purpose than to deliver a package or a bit of news. But with our major characters, we want to break the stereotypes to provide a multi-layered, real character. Stereotypical characters are not interesting. And we all want our characters to be interesting, right? Otherwise, why should people keep reading our prose?

Kathrese McKee, chapter photographer, took some great shots at our meeting.

Bethany, Laura, and Alice

Doris and Anthea

Crystal

Ann, Janice, and Doris

Jeannie Campbell, speaker extraordinaire
If you missed the meeting but are interested in the information. Or if you were at the meeting, and wanted more information on character stereotypes, you can contact Jeannie to purchase her revised Writer's Guide to Breaking Character Stereotypes http://charactertherapist.com/connect/. The guide currently for sale at her store (original version, $5 has 12 stereotypes. The revised edition has 18, so make sure to contact her if you're interested in the expanded edition).

So, writers, if you were at the meeting, what is one thing you learned that you plan to use? 

8 comments:

  1. I need to make my victim in my WIP not sound so victim-ish! :)

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  2. That I need to completely rethink the motivations of my virgin heroine because she's a total "female savior" and for all the reasons Jeanne gave, I don't want to continue to perpetuate that in fiction. GREAT meeting!

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    1. Virgin saviors are prevalent in Christian fiction. And how much added depth it will add any story to diverge from what is now a cliche. Can't wait to see how you change it up, Nancy!

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  3. For me, I loved learning how to use stereotypes to paint an unimportant character in a few words, and how writing in something unexpected both causes people to be curious and repulsed at the same time. It's crazy how we're wired that way. Like we're still prey. Take note--suspense/thriller writers! :D

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  4. I love how she gave some great ideas for giving more depth the bad boy/hero. I have a character who needs some work. Thanks for organizing a great meeting!

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    1. The credit for the meeting goes to Nancy. She set it up last year. And, I agree, it was a GREAT meeting. :)

      Thanks for commenting. It's nice to "hang out" with you online. LOL

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  5. I learned to set up the character -- either good or bad -- then when things are the worse, throw it into reverse to break the stereotype so that both characters do what would be impossible -- the virgin turns into a vamp to save someone and the staunch hero learns the meaning of duplicity and surprise each other. It seems that breaking the stereotype gives energy to the story,. A wonderful presentation.

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