Should all ensembles require a "stupid" character?:

Total posts: [11]
Space hobo
After examining my heroic ensemble I've noticed thata all of the characters are smart in their own right if not some smarter than the other.

Do i need to balance things out and add somebody who is ditzier than the rest of the cast?
It's easy, mmkay?
How about just give them different mental strengths?
At first I didn't realize I needed all this stuff...
"Whenever I feel like I know how computers work, I go to class and leave feeling like I'm wearing my pants on my head, eating paste."
4 annebeeche27th Mar 2011 04:56:46 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
I rarely have genuinely stupid characters, if any. In fact, all of my characters are clever in their own way, since I think of everyone as being smart by default.

Crystal Glacia is right.

edited 27th Mar '11 4:57:16 PM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion.
I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
My teacher's a panda
No, absolutely not. There are no real requirements to creating any ensemble. What's important is that every character contribute something or provide some purpose. A stupid character could serve as The Watson or could be the heart of the team. But it is not necessary to throw in a stupid character, especially if you're throwing one in just because you see everyone else doing it.

That's not to say that you can't throw around the Idiot Ball every once in a while. After all, everyone has an idiotic moment every now and then.
6 JHM27th Mar 2011 06:21:38 PM from Neither Here Nor There , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Thunder, Perfect Mind
Speaking as someone who qualifies as more than a little bit of a Genius Ditz, one need not be stupid to miss the point. That said: No. Write what you know and what you like to write. Don't force yourself into anything unless you're having a problem that seriously inhibits the quality of your work.
7 MajorTom27th Mar 2011 08:19:59 PM , Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
No. You do not need an idiot or ditz to make a believable cast ensemble. If anything the ditzier character will quickly be marginalized by the audience as a token case of Lowest Common Denominator.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
8 Wolf106627th Mar 2011 08:44:35 PM from New Zealand , Relationship Status: In my bunk
Typin' strangely
I don't feel you need to, even if the "Ditz"/"Stupid" character's there to provide expositionary dialogue. You can still have the characters very smart but obviously no one is an expert in all fields.

"so, for those of us who're not Quantum Physicists, what are you doing, exactly?"

I tend to write intelligent characters with a diverse knowledge pool.
Dangerously Genre Savvy since ages ago...
I agree with the others, you don't need to balance it out, unless the plot features explicitly call for uneducated or backwards people (like superstious peoples or a poverty striken area). But even then uneducated people can be extremely smart in their own right and way.

edited 27th Mar '11 8:58:54 PM by jasonwill2

as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
[up] Agreed.

There are also different kinds of intelligence, as seen with Book Dumb characters who don't really excel in scholarly pursuits, but prove useful in battles of wits and strategy. You don't need to have an education to be intelligent.
"Whenever I feel like I know how computers work, I go to class and leave feeling like I'm wearing my pants on my head, eating paste."
I need a drink
Hmm. Perhaps the best thing to do is to look at a character like Winston Zedemore from the Ghostbusters series. Now, compared to the likes of Pete, Ray and Egon, Winston isn't exactly in his element here. However, it is Winston who first starts to connect the dots between the increased ghost activity and the possible end of the world and tells Ray, with a PHD in lord knows what, just how to deal with a God. See he isn't the smartest, but he does have the most common sense and brings the three back down to reality from time to time.

Theres sex and death and human grime in monochrome for one thin dime and at least the trains all run on time but they dont go anywhere.
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Total posts: 11