And I realized, lots of types of characters are used over and over again, in every genre.
There's the hardened, embittered police detective in crime novels, the naive young girl in romances, the spunky and outspoken woman in historicals, and the handsome debonair guy in any genre. There's the abandoned, the hardcore, the too-stubborn-for-his-own-good... All of these are qualities of characters that everyone seems to want to put in their books because frankly, they make action happen.
But none of us as authors want to be cliche, we don't want to do something everyone else is already doing. So how do we make a unique impact when everyone else is doing the same thing in order to do something 'different'?
So how do some authors get away with using elves (again)? And how do some get away with using a genetically enhanced animal as a main character? (Rocket - #GOTG) And there are tons of other examples. How is it that the Sherlock-type character is being used over and over again right now, in several different successful series? How is it not cliche and stale by now?
Here's my theory - because these creators have made an individual character that we like. That character might, on the surface, fit into a cliche'd category - they might be an elf, might be a genetically engineered raccoon, or a sentient tree. They might be the outspoken woman in a world that didn't accept women who spoke their mind (again)... but it's about the individual. We care about the person, so we ignore the fact that he/she is part of a group that everyone else is portraying as well.
This is why some people are still writing vampires, or werewolves. It's not about the stereotype, it's about the individual, what he's gone through, and how skillfully the creator can portray that PERSON.
A quote I saw said that as authors we are creating PEOPLE, not characters. Characters are caricatures... We care about people.
So I might be off to write a hyper-observant detective girl who sees auras, but all that is trapping...character. I'm essentially supposed to be writing a person...emotions, thoughts, hopes and dreams. That's a person.