I've been pondering a question lately, and the question is this: When is it okay to create a cliché character? Here are three answers I've come up with. Ranging from the obvious to the controversial.
1. In a parody or satire. Though I think it is acceptable to use cliché characters in these, I don't thinks it's necessary. A certain Merpire from Carrie's blog comes to mind.
2. When you're trying to use the character as a contrast to a more non-traditional character. Perhaps this one is controversial because, just because a character does something expected does mean their persona is cliché. At the same time you can find a slew of characters (especially in sitcoms) that fit a very specific mold, the lazy one, the dumb one, the uptight,nerdy one. Often they're in the story for the MC to play off of.
3. When you're writing for very young audiences. Again, not necessary, but acceptable. Like when you're reading a child a story like, BEDTIME BATTLE (yes, this is a favorite at our house). The children exhibit very typical bedtime behavior. My son finds this very amusing because he can relate to it!
What do you guys think? You are all so much better at this writing analysis stuff than I am. I just happen to have a cliché character in one of my books (at least I think he might be cliché) and I'm wondering if it's okay. Maybe it would be better to make a list of when it's not okay to use cliché characters, but I'm just sure at least one of you would put a single word on that list: never! :)