Arrogant ~ #atozchallenge2018

Welcome to the Silvia Writes #atozchallenge.  

Fictional Character Traits

Arrogant – revealing an exaggerated sense of self importance.  A fictional character we love to hate. 

The arrogant fictional character mesmerizes and annoys in equal measure. He is often complex, and asshole doesn’t even cover it. Why the arrogance? In good stories he’s masking deep pain, insecurity, self-doubt. The perfect three-dimensional character needed to make audiences care or hate or both.

Often the arrogant type needs another character to keep him in check, maybe an assistant. For example, a powerful woman with a relationship heading nowhere good and young kids at home (Miranda in Devil Wears Prada). By the end of the movie, we discover that even this self-centered, unlikable woman has a softer side toward an assistant she has previously tortured.

Miranda’s redeeming quality. 


How do we create such a change in a character? How do we turn everything around?  We give the character an experience that shakes her life upside down (Miranda’s problems at home and office, her reliable assistant finally having had enough).

We allow the character to grow, show transformation. 

Character exploration and manipulation is what makes writing fun. And it’s all in the process, right? In developing. The end product is simply the reward. The writing process, the journey itself, fills the heart with agony, sure. But also with joy.

Any characters you love to hate only to love again?

——, WUNC, indiewire


33 responses to “Arrogant ~ #atozchallenge2018

  1. Hi Silvia … yes well thought out post … ‘arrogant’ is a right pain … and in fiction can be turned around – in real life … not so sure!! Love your examples – cheers Hilary

  2. I believe that arrogant characters are among the most difficult to write. It’s not enough to make them arrogant, we still need to give them soem quality at the beginning so that the reader may connect with then in spite of everything. Without that spark, I don’t think reader will care to stay around and discover that these characters are actually likable.

    Great start to your chalalnge ;-)

  3. Great debut post for the A to Z Challenge, Silvia! Will be looking forward to the rest of your posts. Happy Easter!

  4. Flawed characters are so important to a story and sometimes the most fun to write, even if you don’t like them.

  5. I going to have fun following your posts, I can see that! I’m chuckling… if you need an arrogant character, I’ll send you my husband. What helped educate him a bit is his illness. Life is very different for him now. Congratulations on taking on the A to Z challenge. I thought about it, but that’s as far as it went. Maybe you’ll stimulate me into action. Happy Easter!

    • Let’s do this, Gwynn. Love your blog, so maybe take the next step, eh? But, hey, I understand not wanting to jumps into the AZs. I took last year off. Thanks for commenting. Gland your husband fixed (somewhat) his ways. :)

  6. What a great topic and start to the challenge, Silvia. I am thinking of Mr. Darcy or Mr. Rochester now!

  7. Oh my, these posts are going to be so helpful!!

    Donna B McNicol, author & traveler
    Romance & Mystery…writing my life
    A-Z Flash Fiction Tales:
    A-Z of Goldendoodles:

  8. My mind went straight to Sabetha Belcoros from The Republic of Thieves. (An excellent series to read if anybody is looking for a few good books)

  9. Those are some good picks for arrogant! :)

  10. Excellent example of Miranda in “Prada.” Of course, Meryl Streep gives her even more depth. Another character I think of is Sue Sylvester in Glee. She’s horrible, selfish, mean, conniving. And, then, at the end of one of the episodes, we see her visiting her sister in a group home. The sister has Down Syndrome, and suddenly Sue is kind and compassionate. She sits with her and reads to her from her favorite book. And, she takes Becky, a HS girl with Down Syndrome, under her wing and gives her a spot on the cheer squad. Sue Sylvester is a terrific character.

    • Such a moving example, Mary. Indeed, no matter how horrible a character, peeling back the layers and getting to that one corner of her heart where love resides, that makes the process singularly wonderful. One of the reason I love writing, this exploration. Don’t even know what the discovery will bring at times, but it always brings something worth looking for. Thanks so much.

  11. Great start, Sylvia and a fantastic thread for the challenge. Alan Rickman was the actor who always seemed to play the villain, but with such charm, humor and elegance that you couldn’t help liking him – and he was evil, mean, duplicitous, and yes, arrogant (I’m think of Harry Potter and Robin Hood).

  12. It’s wonderful when the characters show their ‘other’ side when we’re led to believe that they’re just arrogant a-holes. I guess we all have those sides so to see them in fictional films or writings, is comforting in some vicarious way! Thanks Silvia – right now I can’t think of a particular character? Maybe myself?

  13. Very Clever theme…….Good Luck with the A-Z! Zulu Delta

  14. Hi there! Thanks for visiting my blog. Good analysis here. I look forward to more posts. Happy A to Z!

  15. I immediately thought Mr Darcy but Denise beat me to it. I don’t know if you have read Howard’s End by EM Forster. It was recently on TV as a miniseries here in Australia. Henry Wilcox comes across as arrogant and pigheaded. Margaret Schlegel seems opposite to him in every way and yet they marry. It takes a family tragedy for him to finally develop some empathy and connect with others.

    You certainly made me think hard. Don’t know if I can keep this up.

    • Yes, excellent example, thank you. These characters teach us a lot through exploration, for what is the writer but a finder of emotions? No worries, I won’t ask for examples with the rest of posts, but happy to stir the imagination. :) Thank you for coming by.

  16. Great start, Sylvia and a wonderful exercise and competition too!!

  17. Reading the recent Harry Potter screenplay and it’s all about this seemingly! Especially love Draco. Would say more but no spoilers. It’s tricky to keep the person arrogant but also human. Hard to pull off, great when it is.

I welcome your thoughts.

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