YA Stock Characters (The ones you always read and write about)

I probably have more story ideas than I could write. But as I was writing the outline of the story that I’m currently working on, I noticed a pattern to my characters. Every time I create a story (usually young-adult contemporary romance set in small town high schools), I just use certain character archetypes and play matchmaker with them in the story. I blame the YA novels I read.

I do it unconsciously, but knowing it now makes me realize how cliche my characters can be. This challenges me to break their mold and give them more depth and development. But for now, let’s just get to know each of them and…make fun of them.

So, I wrote their basic character profiles.

Meet my YA stock characters:

The Bad Boy

A.K.A The Rebel; Female Counterpart: The Bad Girl (duh!)

Brooding, mysterious, damaged, rebellious. Hides a dark, tragic past. Often wears a leather jacket and rides a motorcycle. Needs the right girl to change his rebel ways. Has a tattoo and hides a scar, literally and figuratively. Most likely orphaned to make him even more tragic. Obviously brings trouble but there has to be some redeeming qualities, right?

The Popular Jock

A.K.A The Popular Jock (there’s no other way to do it); Female Counterpart: The Popular Cheerleader

The guy every girl wants. Also a known playboy. Supposedly the epitome of a cool guy. Acts like an airhead on the outside, but keeps a sensible and thoughtful personality. Has honey-chocolate abs to die for. Most likely the town’s golden boy quarterback. Redeeming qualities: HOT. But also his secret philosophical depth hidden behind his good looks and jackass-jerk facade.

The Boy-Next-Door

A.K.A The Nice Guy; Female Counterpart: The Girl-Next-Door

Best friend-to-boyfriend material. Literally the guy that lives next door. Also known as Mr. McPerfectson. Likes basketball and music, plays the guitar, can also sing and cook, loves dogs, love babies, loves you. Gentleman with a killer smile and dimples on both cheeks. Redeeming qualities: EVERYTHING.

The Cute Nerd

A.K.A Totally-Not-A-Nerd-Just-A-Cute-Guy-Wearing-Glasses; Female Counterpart: The Cute Nerd (girl version)

Shy, quiet, awkward. Not necessarily studious but naturally smart (or not). Loves his video games, superhero comic books, and sci-fi/fantasy movies. Often wears glasses. Secretly hot and wild and everything you want him to be. Is working on a sci-fi graphic novel of his own (so he most definitely knows how to draw).

The Good Girl

A.K.A The Mary Sue; Male Counterpart: Definitely NOT The Bad Boy

Innocent, humble, simple (or plain), timid. Doesn’t know she’s pretty until the right guy tells her. Loves reading books, and probably has a book and movie review blog. Has hidden wit and sarcasm (how is she gonna write those killer reviews if she’s not witty like me). Can stand up for herself only when she’s up against her love interest and the love interest’s evil ex-girlfriend.

The Ice Princess

A.K.A Elsa, Concealed, Doesn’t Feel; Male Counterpart: The Ice Prince

Complete straight A’s, no non-sense girl. Perfect in every way except for her cold, uptight, and a little bit (by that, I mean very) naive personality. Trained in some fancy talent like piano, ballet, or painting. Uses only at least three-syllabic SAT words in a casual conversation. Facial expressions are limited to a resting bitch face. Actually has feelings.

The Tomboy

A.K.A The-Girl-You-Didn’t-Realize-Was-Beautiful-Until-A-Makeover; Male Counterpart: (I actually have no idea)

Quirky, sporty, one-of-the-boys. Hates make-up and wearing high heels or skirts. Tough as nails but still a lady at heart. Can play basketball, knows how to skateboard, and beat the boys at it. Secretly a huge fangirl of boy bands. Fashion sense is limited to over-sized T shirts, baggy jeans, sneakers, and other hand-me-downs.

The Queen Bee

A.K.A The Girl You Envy; Male Counterpart: Your Dream Guy

The girl every guy wants. Pretty, sassy, and fierce. Often mistaken as the mean girl. Always the homecoming and prom queen. Also known as the popular girl that rules high school, and your teacher’s favorite student. Probably in a relationship with The Popular Jock. Rival includes The Popular Cheerleader. Struggles to keep her royal image.

This list doesn’t represent all of the stock characters that we have in YA contemporary fiction. These are just the archetypes that I use in my own stories. So, if you think I missed someone, no worries, you can write about them. But don’t forget to try and destroy their tropes. That makes a story more interesting.

Random Question of the Day

Would you rather be with someone who has all of the ideal qualities that you’re looking for in a person and is perfect in every way but you just don’t or can’t love OR be with someone who has all of the qualities that you would normally hate and is generally not a good person but you still deeply, truly love anyway, no matter what? Think about it. And why?

Our Story

Though the shadows of your past lurk behind
Look straight ahead, your future shines bright.
Betrayal pushed your fall deeper and harder
But trust me when I say, never worry, WARRIOR.

They marked your end as they killed your faith
But your fight only began after the first victory
I will hold your hand so leap high once again
With ONE SHOT, prove them all wrong tonight.

How much did it hurt when they all ran away?
Better forget the hasty promises and dirty lies.
In this moment, as you step back onto the stage,
Let’s show a new NOIR with those who stayed.

Don’t ever be afraid of the looming darkness
Hold on to the dreams that you shared with me
Remember that we were once unstoppable.
Awaken the POWER that never faded inside.

Don’t wait for their deceitful round of applause
Keep sending a message in the guise of a ROSE
Before they realize the beauty of your color
Prick their hearts with the thorns you cover

The world is a MATRIX of your burning passion
Turn it upside down while they are fast asleep
I will be the bridge to places you can’t reach
Show them your battle scars, keep the fire lit.

There’s no rush, you don’t have to keep running
We will march together so let’s face your fight.
On the road to survival, we all might suffer
But our FIRST SENSIBILITY will keep us alive.

Keep dreaming, your fate is mine to defend
I’ll listen to your call, keep singing your songs.
Even if the world refuses to see your worth
I’ll chant along with NO MERCY for doubters.

Fame is not a CARNIVAL, we know the truth.
They fell out of love as you fell off the top
But a masterpiece is never about the race
It’s about the story, they can never replace.

If in the end you forget the dreams we kept,
Remember the history of the songs we shared.
Though the BADMAN stole your spotlight’s glow
Keep the spark of the million vows we made.

(I was bored and I thought it would be interesting to make a poem using 10 of the album titles of my ultimate favorite idol group. What do you think? Agh, I think it’s too cheesy and simplistic! Honestly.)

Beauty Talk

I’ve had enough with this. I have nothing against personal opinion on beauty and such. We all have our preferences, admit it or not, and we’ll naturally find some people “more attractive” than others. HOWEVER, talking about beauty as if it is not a subjective thing is absurd. Beauty is not set in stone. Beauty standards are pure bull. Enough talking about someone’s face as if it’s a matter of right or wrong. So their looks aren’t up to your standards. You think they’re ugly. That’s only your opinion. It’s not a statement of fact. That’s their face, not yours to worry about. Jeez. Beauty is NOT everything. It doesn’t save the world from its problems. What kind of a primitive brain do you have to set people apart by their faces and make other people feel bad about themselves? With what right?