1. The Foreknowledge Fiona. The Foreknowledge Fiona has vast stores of intuition that are never wrong. She just knows to hide information from somebody who’ll turn out to be a bad guy later on. The giant monster’s weak spot is easily guessable for her. All of the author’s knowledge about the plot is hers to command. It often manifests itself in little impulses that always work out.
2. The Solver Sarah. If there’s a puzzle that a large tribe of people have been working on for thousands of years, expect the Solver Sarah to stumble upon the answer with no help in an hour. This might be acceptable once, but the Solver Sarah will then proceed to find the culprit behind a string of murders all by herself. She seems to be a staple of detective series. Remember: the more people who are working on finding something, the less likely your protagonist will be the one to do so.
3. The Obsessed Oswald. The Obsessed Oswald is only bad in a cast of similar characters. The author has decided that when they give a character a trait such as “likes cereal,” the character must then love cereal with a passion. Everything the Obsessed Oswald likes, he loves. Everything he dislikes, he hates. It’s fine to have one character like this, but the Obsessed Oswald usually likes to bring his other obsessed friends along for the ride.
4. The Correct Carl. The Correct Carl lives only to give sage advice. The magical sage advice he gives is always right. When characters follow the Correct Carl’s advice, it works out well for them. When they don’t, they get in trouble. Unless you’re writing about Jesus himself, nobody is going to give the right advice 100% of the time. The Correct Carl is at his most annoying when he works as a relationship counseler or matchmaker.
5. The Quiet Quinn. There is nothing at all wrong with having quiet, introverted characters. To accurately represent humanity, some of your characters should be quiet. The problem arises when you portray introversion as inherently better. The Quiet Quinn is always smarter than his loudmouth companions. He’s able to notice things that they miss. He’s more polite and more caring. Often, the Quiet Quinn will only really open his mouth when there’s a wise figure around to ask questions to, because the Quiet Quinn is also more curious than those idiot extraverts he has to put up with.
6. The Dark Damien. The Dark Damien tries to fit the dark and brooding character profile, but he doesn’t actually have anything to brood about. His past was pretty nice. Instead of just cheering up because he has a pretty good life, he broods about philosophy. This is always a bad idea. If your character broods about philosophy and has a bad past, that’s fine. If it’s just philosophy, you’ve created a Dark Damien. Unless you go to great lengths to portray him as just a whiny emo, you’ll create an annoying character who’s really hard to like. People can sympathize with a whiny emo. Many peoplewere whiny emos at one point. I don’t think there’s anybody who can sympathize with a legitimate, serious dark and brooding character with nothing to actually brood about.
7. The Evil Ella. The Evil Ella doesn’t just run an evil empire and hate the heroes. She also steals pocket change and draws dirty pictures on bathroom walls. The Evil Ella is rumored to be a cannibal as well, and she keeps a whole room full of small, furry animals just so she can punch them when she feels bad. There comes a point when if you made your bad guys do any more bad things, they’d become funny instead of scary. This is to be avoided.
8. The Dialog Diana. Oh, no! There’s a battle happening, but nobody’s around who’s not fighting so that it can be talked about! Call the Dialog Diana! The Dialog Diana is like a second narrative voice. She talks about all of the stuff that should be conveyed in the narrative. The Dialog Diana voices her opinions on everything, right as it’s happening. She turns books into plays.