Definition: acting with fairness and equality; appearing to have unbiased judgment and neutrality in order to achieve an end.
Characters in Literature: Astrophil, Petra’s tin spider (Cabinet of Wonders); Alfred Pennyworth (Batman)
Common Portrayals: Government diplomats, parents, teachers and principals, professional advisers, counselors and psychiatrists; business consultants; a best friend; butlers, secretaries and loyal support staff
Clichés to Avoid: The diplomat who is power hungry and completely undiplomatic; the ‘third wheel’ friend who becomes a trusted confidant to his or her bestie’s romantic partner, all the while harboring a secret crush for them
Twists on the Traditional Diplomatic Character:
▪ Diplomacy is easier if one does not have personal stakes in the possible outcome. Show us a character who is invested in what happens, and the moral tug-o-war that goes with attempting to not influence decisions based on one’s own emotions.
▪ Diplomacy is often trying to satisfy all involved parties with a decision that provides a best case scenario outcome across the board. What happens when there is no best case…all options are equally painful or terrible to fathom?
▪ Put the fate of a diplomatic character in the hands of a rash, emotional opposite. How do they cope without that sense of fairness and careful consideration? How do they find a way to influence, reason with or work around this type of opposite?
Build a worthy protagonist with a mix of unique strengths that will help him overcome obstacles and achieve meaningful goals.
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