Saturday, 24 March 2012


An interesting topic that has come up in conversation this week is stereotypes. So I thought I'd write about it.
Now let me explain. I'm writing a novel about an Aussie woman who goes to Ireland to take on a  co-managing position on a horse stud.
She's a redhead and typically, she's stubborn and  a fiery woman who likes to dish-out more than she get's dished. Stereotype number one.
Now the male protagonist is Irish. He's got green eyes and black hair and of course, he's name is Jack. Stereotype number two.
Apparently, I have a problem.
Jack is a common and many like to think, Irish name. Just as Connor, Seamus, Patrick and Sean are. So why is a name a problem?
My Aussie girl's name is Kate, a very common and what some might consider, bland name.
Jack has an Irish accent. Kate has an Australian accent. Jack says Irish things, Kate says Australian things.
Now that I've informed you of my two sterotypes, let me tell you the reason they are a problem.
Editor's don't like Redheads that a stubbon and feisty. They don't like Irish guy with emerald green eyes. And they don't like sterotypes.

Now is it just me or am I not the only person who has read a thousand books about blonde females and dark-haired males?
So why do they have problem with redheads? Or traditional Irishnames?
I can't very well call my Irishman 'Pierre'. That would make him french. So why is 'Jack' a sterotypical name for an Irishman? I have met many Jack's and none of them have been Irish.

What about brunettes? Are they always plain and go by the name of Jane? Of course not! But if you've written a novel and she's your main character, you've got a problem.

Now if there's one thing everyone is looking for in a novel it's a character they can relate to. Now we all possess some form of stereotypical trait. So what happens when a writer creates a character who is unlike anyone else.  Well, you have a character no one can relate to.

So what do we do? Do give our protagonist purple hair, green skin and make them sociopaths? You never know, there might be someone out there who fits that description. And their going to love your book because they think it's about them!

I personally love stereotypes. I like to take two and put them together. I like to challenge them and if I haven't met that character (because their so perfect they don't exist) I can see them, I know them.

But these are just my musings. I find the whole topic rather laughable. I hope you do too.
Feel free to post your favourite stereotypes and of course, your thoughts on the matter.

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