Perhaps bland characters are not that bad?


#1

Ok hear me out hear me out.

Over the years I’ve realised that particularly in the horror genre, the characters are pretty bland (then again maybe I’ve been reading crappy horror books, but I sure liked them). It only recently dawned on me that they were bland, but in the end I realised it didn’t really matter. The story was still told, and I still got scared, the aim of the books had been reached.

So what I’m saying is, I don’t think bland characters are bad in the horror genre. The horror must be viewed through the eyes of someone, and as it turns out many times the details of said characters don’t matter.

Do you agree on this?


#2

probably cause horror works best against ordinary people. Thats why alot of stuff takes place in small towns (ex:stranger things, IT) having something extraordinary/horrific happen to bland people is interesting. They’ve never experienced anything out of there mundane lives now they have to deal with a murderous clown dragging kids through a well.


#3

Good thing is that Stranger Things don’t have bland characters even though the show could possibly slip into this territory.


#4

I think bland characters can work, but personally fleshed out characters excite me even more.


#5

Me too. I just don’t care for them, and more likely to forget them.


#6

I think bland characters just shouldn’t stay bland. I think there is something appealing about extraordinary things happening to ordinary people, but those kinds of events also change people. Bilbo Baggins came back a changed Hobbit.

I also think, when well written, “Bland” characters don’t actually feel that bland. Everyone is an interesting enough person when you get to know them.


#7

Some literature/drama does blandness quite well. One example could be Waiting for Godot, where the two protagonists have absolutely minimal backstory, and yet you’re invested in them nonetheless.

However, it’s difficult to pull off, and most people won’t appreciate it for what it is.


#8

idk i feel like everyone whos not eleven or maybe even the cop are pretty bland and mundane. But the way mundane characters react to the stuff happening is interesting. I mean the mom was pretty bland and mundane until she reacted to her sons disappearance by going crazy. Nancy is pretty mundane, but now shes a mundane chick that can use a gun. And so on


#9

And yet, horror series like Evil Dead, Zombieland, and Stranger Things are so much better due to their colorful characters. Granted these are horror comedies (well maybe not Stranger Things, but I can’t help but laugh at those idiots anyway :joy:) so there may be some bias there.

Portal fantasies also tend to use a bland, or at least generic, POV character when they want to showcase the wonders of the world in favor of focusing on the MCs.


#10

whats portal fantasies


#11

A foreigner goes to a new world or culture and acts as a foil for the reader to discover the world’s wonders. Everything is new to the character and must be explained to him, and thus, the reader.

It’s so named for old stories where an Earth human takes a magic portal to a fantasy world and meets elves, dwarves, wizards, orcs and other fantasy tropes.