❝Writers see the world differently. Every voice we hear, every face we see, every hand we touch become story fabric.❞
– Buffy Andrews
flowers, theme, and aesthetic image art, detail, and man image

The sweet princess needing a hero to come save her, the "Chosen One" being the only one capable of making the villain fall, the funny best friend, and the hot, mysterious bad boy. Writers and readers, I am sure you are all familiar with these characters.

Today, I want to challenge you to think differently. When writing characters, it is easy to make them a stereotype like those above. Now, what would happen if you tried to write a story without these common clichés? One with characters who break the stereotypes?

This article is part of my "Writing 101" series, which was made to help writers with grammar, creating characters and unique plots, as well as exploring your mind and creativity. The rest of the articles in this series can be found here:

Now, let's get started. Here are 25 writing prompts that kill clichés and stereotypes!

1―

The Chosen One dies ten minutes into the battle.

fire and smoke image Image by Camyla Heide

2―

The princess never eats the poisoned apple, but pass it on to her enemies, palm to palm, until it's gone.

3 ―

The hero and the villain are siblings. They still meet to eat dinner at their parents' house during the holidays.

4 ―

The protagonist receives a map which shall lead him to a hidden land. Getting there is the only way to stop the curse that was placed upon his people a hundred years ago. He sets off, gets praise from those living in the village, and then realizes he has lost the map after the first day of his journey.

hands, map, and pretty+hand+ image

5 ―

The sweet, innocent character opens their mouth for the first time in the story... and turns out that they cuss like a sailor and scares off everyone else.

6 ―

The protagonist is the only one who can't see the magical creatures everyone is talking about.

7 ―

The beautiful princess suddenly burns down the castle. Nobody knows why she would do such a thing; she was always so sweet. The dragon guarding the castle helps her escape before anyone can question her.

quotes, fairytale, and text image art, fashion, and flowers image

8 ―

You can see your daughter's imaginary friend.

9 ―

The demon following you is actually trying to warn you about a dear friend of yours with evil intentions.

10 ―

The talking animal gets really offended when the human assume they are just a ❛dumb, regular animal❜.

11 ―

She was the one who could save them all; the only one with the power to stop evil. Too bad she had already sided with the Dark Lord.

black, flowers, and night image girl image black and white image Image by Ginevra

12 ―

The one with water powers is actually terrified of the ocean.

13 ―

The one who gains fire powers come from a land of only winter and snow - they have never seen a flame and hates heat.

14 ―

Both of the hero's parents are alive and well, and continue to help them throughout the story.

15 ―

You are a magical creature reading fairy tales about humans. One day, you see a real human up close.

stars, beige, and brown image horse, pegasus, and fantasy image

16 ―

The leader of the rebellion prays for someone to challenge them for their position. They never wanted to lead anything because they never know what they are doing.

17 ―

There's only one person who can help you: the wizard you have heard tales of all your life. So you travel for years to get to him. But when you get to his house, deep in the woods, a note is taped to the door.
Closed for the holidays.

18 ―

One day, you realize that you are the main character in a super cliché story. You have the funny best friend by your side, a love interest you want to impress, and everyone knows your name. Then the battle comes. The villain keeps saying familiar, cliché lines before the fight. You know how this is going to go, you have read the same story in a hundred books before. Only this time, nothing ends the way you thought it would.

19 ―

Sirens are tired of enchanting men, so they try to learn sign language.

black, water, and blue image Dream and fantasy image

20 ―

Everyone calls you the Chosen One. They admire you and your powers. If they only knew that you were completely normal and mortal. The whole thing had been a joke until people started believing you. But what are you supposed to do now, as you sit on the throne and watch over the kingdom?

21 ―

Love is the only thing that can defeat the villain, but the hero doesn't believe in it. They roll their eyes just at the mention of it.

22 ―

She's your guardian angel, but she hates you.

art and angel image aesthetic, art, and angel image

23 ―

The hero leaves the village to go and defeat the villain. They come back a week later with an adopted son.

24 ―

The bad boy is actually super introverted.

25 ―

The hero is exhausted of saving the world but still goes on. Nothing really surprises them anymore. The villain is tired of them falling asleep when trying to say their great speech.

Image by stacymarley snow, winter, and tree image
Thank you for reading, and good luck with your writing! Feel free to share your work here on We Heart it - I'd love to read your words.

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This article was written by @matomm for the We Heart It Gazette.