Definition: To be forthright, truthful, candid
Characters in Literature: Harriet in Harriet the Spy; Joachim Ziemssen in The Magic Mountain
Common Portrayals: A by-the-rules kid in the classroom; the co-worker who is always reporting going-ons to the boss out of a sense of duty; the brutally truthful wife who offers her honest opinion unsolicited to advise her husband and family friends; the sheltered teen who believes everything she’s told because of her own honest disposition.
Clichés to Avoid: Tattle-tail little brother or sisters as a plot device; the honest, trusting nature of a focal character softening the antagonist’s heart, the honest girl corrupted by a ‘bad boy’
Twists on the Traditional Honest Character:
▪ Put a character who embraces honesty into a situation where she freely chooses dishonesty for the greater good
▪ Have a character feel the effects of brutal honesty so it leads to enlightenment and self growth
▪ Give your honest character a compulsion to flout authority or break the law
Build a worthy protagonist with a mix of unique strengths that will help him overcome obstacles and achieve meaningful goals.
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