Definition: having unusual foresight and ingenuity
Characters from Literature and History: Dr. Frankenstein, Merlin, Benjamin Franklin, Leonardo da Vinci
Common Portrayals: scientists, inventors, magicians, geniuses, world leaders, artists
Clichés to Avoid: the egomaniacal crazy visionary bent on taking over the world; the eccentric but lovable magician or scientist; the passionate inventor who creates something that changes the world but sacrifices his family and values to do so
Twists on the Traditional Visionary:
- Visionaries usually envision something that is beneficial or helpful. But what if their goal is ambiguous–good for some, detrimental to others?
- We like to remember the “good” visionaries, but many horrible ideas and events were also birthed by those with incredible foresight and boldness. Instead of the purely evil visionary who sees nothing wrong with his pursuit, conflict your villain. Show him struggling with right and wrong just like the good guys do.
- Complicate things for your solitary visionary. Out of necessity, give him a partner.
Build a worthy protagonist with a mix of unique strengths that will help him overcome obstacles and achieve meaningful goals.
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