Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Busting stereotypes

Below are some unexpected combinations. Come up with a dozen of your own busted stereotypes. (The first two were real people my daughter and I encountered, the third inspired by a criminal on The Good Guys where there are fresh busted-stereotype bad guys each week :-)

I failed miserably at busting fantasy or science fiction stereotypes. Perhaps because both are more renowned for plot stereotypes. And the busted character stereotypes authors come up with are themselves becoming cliche like the kick-your-ass princess and the emotional android. But it's a challenge to try. If you need some cliches to break, there are several at:

The Fantasy Novelist's Exam
The Not-So-Grand List of Overused Fantasy Clichés
Grand list of overused science fiction clichés
And Diana Wynne Jones's The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, a description of every fantasy cliche imaginable.

(Of course you're free to use any of the following for a writing prompt instead if you wish.)
  • The leather clad biker, with the droopy mustache and a skull on his helmet, whipped out his wallet to show the pictures of his new kitten.
  • The criminal mastermind, a tribal tattoo on the side of his shaved head, sat at the head of the long dining table drinking fresh carrot juice with his vegan Stroganoff.
  • The burly construction worker, t-shirt and jeans stained with signs of his labor, ordered his favorite mocha raspberry latte with extra whipped cream.
  • Tucked in the bag with grandma's lap quilting were her multisided dice and her Nintendo DS with the latest Pokemon game.
  • Sarah alternated between her two favorite activities: snuggled up in her room with a great read or out on stage before a packed house.
  • The emancipated android took her prize Pekinese pair out for a morning walk.
  • Behind the closed door of her cloister room, the nun made the final edits on her latest paranormal romance.

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