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Stock Characters

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A Stock Character is a character who is instantly recognizable to us from other stories: the gruff grandpa, the snooty cheerleader, the bratty younger sibling. You can sum up their role in the story in a sentence or less and people will know exactly what you're talking about. Such characters are frequently one-dimensional in nature. Sometimes that's okay, because it's a storytelling shortcut. Of course, just because you use a stock character as a starting point, this doesn't mean you can't flesh them out. Indeed, Major and Rounded characters will likely embody more than one of these tropes, depending on the story.

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Sometimes using a stock character opens the door to Playing With Tropes as well. Sometimes two or more character types get combined as well. For example, a traveling bard (medieval singer) may also be a joke-cracking Court Jester.

A stock character can be an Archetype, an example of Characters as Device, or just very recognizable.

See also Archetypal Character.


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Alternative Title(s): Stock Character

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