characters / descriptors / I love the USA / writers resources

What is an American?

animated_manI mean, to a writer. When you’re characterizing an American, how do you do that? In my current book, I want to show the differences between my American character and the Muslims, the Europeans, that she runs into. Sometimes I’m in a foreign POV and need to show my lead through their eyes. If you face that predicament, here are some ideas I found on foreign websites that will help. Obviously, they do not reflect my personal views. Here goes:

Friendly
Generous
Hard-Working; Workaholics
Overweight
Uninterested in other culturespenny_guy_walking_sm_wht_edited
Religious; socially conservative (by Euro standards)
Socially liberal (by Middle Eastern standards)
Great disparity between the rich and poor
Shallow or superficial (goes along with friendly)
Warmongering
Optimistic
Open to new technologies/ideas
Sensationalistic
Ignorant
Loud
Live with lots luxuries
Rich/Wealthy
Lightly taxed
Love fast food
Car-oriented (main/only form of transportation)
Not family-oriented (nursing homes, etc.)

Nothing like what we think of ourselves, huh? No wonder the world has trouble getting along.

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4 thoughts on “What is an American?

  1. Pingback: How I Would Characterize a Democrat | WordDreams...

  2. There are many reasons to love America, and there are also many awful things that have been done in the name of America. I can see that this list represents a non-American view, but it tends to stereotype fairly broadly. Your novel sounds like a great opportunity to make each character distinct in their views.
    I received a review of my first novel on Goodreads that expressed disappointment at the “rah-rah America”-type attitude of the story. However, the character in question was from pre-Civil War America, where they were much closer to the founding principles. Those principles were the ones being discussed and demonstrated in the story.
    I know I’m late to this post, but I appreciate you taking the time to write it.

    Like

    • If you write thrillers, their core principles are bigger-than-life heroes, doing the impossible, and overwhelming patriotism. These main characters love their country and its flaws. Was it Churchill who said Democracy was a horrible form of government, except all the others were worse (I’ve butchered it, I know).

      You have me curious about your book, Tarl. I’m going over to check on it.

      Like

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