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Monday, May 2, 2011

Character Stereotypes: The Lone Wolf

How many of us have read novels about a lonely, brooding hero who is emotional unable to physically unwilling to engage with others in the story? The ranch hand who prefers his horse to people or a business tycoon who rarely comes down from his penthouse to interact with the masses?

I’ve read tons of them. The most popular motivation behind the lone wolf’s preference for solitude is some crime committed or action taken in his past and that he now regrets and just wants to live solitarily to try to forget it ever happened.

Nod your head if this rings a bell.

(You’re nodding, aren’t you?)

I will break this stereotype yet stay true to the loner mentality. After all, we read books with loner heroes just so we can cheer them on when they come out of their self-imposed boundaries, usually to hook up with the heroine. (I hope you’re still nodding.)

There are two different types of lone wolfs, the imposed loner and the preferred loner. The first type doesn’t wish to be alone, but because he is rejected by society, he is alone. The second type prefers solitude and derives contentment, even pleasure, from it.

Below are nine reasons (read: motivations) why a person might seek solitude as a preferred loner or why solitude might seek a person as an imposed loner. You’ll notice that a history of breaking the law is refreshingly absent.

Click here to read the rest of my article.

Wordle: signature


Miss Sharp said...

Really helpful stuff, Jeannie! Your blog has always been great and just keeps getting better all the time.

Sarah Forgrave said...

Such a timely article for me, Jeannie, since I'm developing my lone wolf character right now. Thanks for sharing! :)

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

thanks miss sharpe and sarah! i feel the love, ladies. :)

Anonymous said...


anurag_im kool said...

where are the 9 points

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

anurag - i've fixed the link now. :)

Kostas said...

What if someone prefers solitude but is also rejected by society?

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

Kostas - I'm not sure I understand the significance of your question. A person who prefers solitude but is also rejected by society (thus, being thrust into solitude regardless) might very well be okay with that outcome. That makes them both a preferred and imposed loner.

Kostas said...

Jeannie - You're right, it sounds like a stupid question. I don't know why I asked that back then. But I guess what I meant was that even though he prefers solitude and is also rejected by society, deep inside he doesn't really want to be the lone wolf he is, whether preferred or imposed. He wants to escape from this solitude. He wishes he didn't like solitude that much. Oh well, that's not really a question, now, more like a thought - you don't have to respond. (To tell you the truth, I hadn't realized this blog was for fictional characters until now. I thought it was about real life people. :D)

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

Kostas - Didn't mean to imply it was a stupid question! I was sure I was misunderstanding you somehow. And don't worry about making the mistake about this blog being only for fictional characters. Folks write in quite regularly despite the intent. I just like to help however I can. But I'd say there is always room for change, for stretching one's self. Not overnight, of course, but gradually.

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Both comments and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed your time on the couch today.