8 Common Character Tropes

Character tropes are common archetypes or stereotypes that are often found in fiction writing. They can be helpful in creating memorable and relatable characters, but they can also be overused and cliche. Here are a few common character tropes that writers should be aware of:

The love interest:

This character is typically a romantic partner for the main character and serves as a catalyst for the plot. They may be the perfect match, the forbidden love interest, or the love-hate relationship.

Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet from Romeo & Juliet, and Ginny Weasley from the Harry Potter Series

The mentor:

This character is usually an older, wiser figure who helps the main character grow and learn. They may be a teacher, a mentor, or a parent figure.

Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter Series, Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings, and Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz are examples of the mentor trope.

The sidekick:

This character is often a loyal companion to the main character and helps them on their journey. They may be a comic relief character, a voice of reason, or a sounding board for the main character’s ideas.

Sidekick trope examples include: Sancho Panza from Don Quixote, Sam Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings, andRon Weasley from the Harry Potter Series.

The villain:

This character is the main antagonist of the story and is often in conflict with the main character. They may be evil, manipulative, or just misguided.

Examples of the villain trope include: Sauron from The Lord of the Rings and Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter Series.

The hero:

This character is the main protagonist of the story and is often the one trying to save the day. They may be brave, selfless, and noble, or they may have more complex flaws and motivations.

Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings is an example of the Hero trope.

The damsel in distress:

This character is often a female character who is in need of rescuing by the hero. They may be weak, helpless, or passive, and their main purpose is to serve as a plot device.

This trope was popularized in The Three Musketeers, but other examples of this trope include Snow white from Snow White and Rapunzel from Rapunzel.

The rebel:

This character is often a nonconformist who challenges the status quo. They may be a rebel without a cause, a revolutionary, or just someone who doesn’t fit in.

An example of this trope would be the angel Abdiel in Paradise Lost

The loner:

This character is often depicted as being isolated and alone, either by choice or circumstance. They may be a misfit, an outcast, or a lone wolf.

Eleanor and Park from Eleanor & Park would be an example of this trope.

While these character tropes can be useful in creating well-rounded and relatable characters, it’s important not to rely too heavily on them. Overusing character tropes can lead to cliched and predictable storytelling, so it’s important to mix things up and create unique and original characters.


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