In any story, authors and readers alike need strong characters more than they need oxygen. However, there’s a huge distinction between “weak” characters and “cliché” characters- namely in that the cliché character is sometimes perfect.
Most avoid cliché’s, but here’s the catch: some people are exactly as cheesy, played-out and ridiculous as the cliché would lead you to believe. At a concert yesterday, I observed the following:
The Biggest Fan
-This is the type of person who proceeds to tell anyone and everyone in ear shot what they know about the band. Though their information is typically commonplace, they seem intent on talking your ear off until you come to the conclusion that this person is an international authority on the band.
The Drunken Conductor
-This particular genius (who tends to have seats in the front of the theater) will stand up and wave his or her arms frantically, as if they are sitting in their living room rather than in a major venue in front of hundreds or thousands of people. While utterly inconsiderate, most don’t say anything, realizing this person is just having fun and not intentionally blocking everyone’s view.
-The person who laughs awkwardly at the Biggest Fan and attempts to make conversation, despite clearly knowing nothing, as he or she prays for their significant other to come back and help pull the foot out of his or her mouth.
And, of course, the “I just want to be heard” people
-These people have a tendency to cheer, scream and whistle any time that anything happens, ever. When a song begins or ends, when someone enters or leaves stage, when any reference to anything they know of is made, or when something very predictable but still unusual happens, these people are up on their feet making sure the rest of the crowd sees their excitement.
So keep this in mind; when writing, or reading, about a concert or other such thing, there are ALWAYS these types of people. Having these types of people in a story doesn’t make it cliché- it makes it real. Just don’t overdo it.