See a song sung by a Lord High Executioner. Rewrite it to be sung by a writer.
Logical thought processes can be scary sometimes.
So, any writer has probably been lectured extensively on cliches of every breed. Plot cliches. Description cliches. Dialog cliches. You get the idea.
But, today we will be addressing character cliches. In the format of a lovely little Gilbert & Sullivan ditty that, under no uncertain terms, condemns them to death.
I see you.
All you writer people and all the involuntary smiles that just stretched across your faces.
Really, I don’t get you guys sometimes.
Moving on, I’ll give a little context for the song I’m parodying here.
This is from a Gilbert & Sullivan play called The Mikado. The character singing it is Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner (I laughed out loud hearing that for the first time). He’s really a nice guy, actually and ended up being my favorite character.
But anyway, he’s a bit of the nervous variety and wants to be prepared for any circumstance. So after rather unexpectedly coming to his current position, he draws up a list just in case he has to execute somebody.
This song shows his decisions on who made the list.
And a hilarious video of it.
This guy, Dave Ross, was the best. Really. I’m actually in the audience near the front at this performance. 🙂 (A big family expedition a couple of years ago.)
Okay, so I know there are lots of character cliches.
*cough* To say the least.
I will say I was a little limited by rhyming, so I didn’t get as many in as I wanted to. But I still like how it turned out. 😛 Enjoy!
I’ve Got A Little List (Writer’s Version)
As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
I’ve got a little list — I’ve got a little list
Of literary persons who might well be underground,
And who never would be missed — who never would be missed!
There’s the pestilential villains who tell heroes all their plans —
All the mediocre characters with way too many fans —
All children who are orphans and decide to run away —
All persons who on how they look, have ten pages to say —
And all love interests who on spoiling action scenes insist —
They’d none of ’em be missed — they’d none of ’em be missed!
She’s got ’em on the list — she’s got ’em on the list;
And they’ll none of ’em be missed — they’ll none of ’em be missed.
There’s the angsty teenage hero, and the others of her race,
And the aimless terrorist — I’ve got him on the list!
And detectives who can never find an “actually hard” case,
They never would be missed — they never would be missed!
Then the old mentor who strokes his beard and acts aloofly wise,
But seems to be just Gandalf in a different shape and size;
And the woman in adventures who’s tough as any guy,
To fill the spot of “strong female” . . . or at least another try.
And that singular anomaly, the warrior dramatist—
I don’t think he’d be missed — I’m sure he’d not he missed!
She’s got him on the list — she’s got him on the list;
And I don’t think he’ll be missed — I’m sure he’ll not be missed!
And the brooding revenge seekers who can think of nothing else
The potty humorist — I’ve got him on the list!
All brooding hot guys, bratty kids, and damsels in distress —
They’d none of ’em be missed — they’d none of ’em be missed.
And vampires and werewolves who are really all quite kind,
The little kids who ancient treasures always seem to find,
You all know the clichés quite well and have much more, I’m sure
And so, my fellow writers, to your brilliance I adjure.
But it really doesn’t matter whom you put upon the list,
For they’d none of ’em be missed — they’d none of ’em be missed!
You may put ’em on the list — you may put ’em on the list;
And they’ll none of ’em be missed — they’ll none of ’em be missed!
So, what other character cliches would you put on the list? Which choice do you most agree with?