Stock Characters

Ever seen the same type of character pop up in different stories, like the brave hero or the wise old mentor?

That’s a stock character!

Think of them as the classic characters everyone knows, like the jock in high school movies or the wicked witch in fairy tales. They’re everywhere, and while some people might say they’re too predictable or overused, they actually have some cool benefits.

For writers, using these well-known characters saves time. Instead of explaining every detail about them, they can just drop them in, and we, as the audience, get it. We instantly know who they are and what they want. This helps the story move faster. Plus, sometimes, when we think we know what a stock character will do, writers can surprise us by flipping our expectations, making the story even more exciting!

Side note: Typically archetypes are broader character types be found in all walks of life, literature and fiction.

So, the next time you spot that familiar knight or the sneaky villain, remember they’re there for a reason, making storytelling smoother and sometimes even more fun!

Examples of Stock Characters

Below you will find a growing list of stock character examples:

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