Definition: deviating from conventional or accepted usage or conduct, especially in odd or whimsical ways
Characters in Literature: Willy Wonka, Merlin, Miss Havisham (Great Expectations)
Common Portrayals: millionnaires, geniuses, the elderly, celebrities, the mentally-challenged
Clichés to Avoid: the gajillionnaire who does whatever he wants because his money and his lawyers will get him out of any fix, old ladies with too many cats, hermits living on the outskirts of town, the eccentric mentor archetype
Twists on the Traditional Eccentric:
▪ Eccentrics are almost always old. Why not create an eccentric child or teen with mental faculties fully intact?
▪ What about an Eccentric who is admired by society? Instead of people dismissing his oddities, they emulate them and make them part of the culture.
▪ Eccentrics in literature are often secondary characters. Why not make your main character the odd duck?
Build a worthy protagonist with a mix of unique strengths that will help him overcome obstacles and achieve meaningful goals.
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