How boring it would be if all the characters in a story were the same. People who live in the real world have different personalities, and individuals in a story must reflect this. If you need to energize your narrative, learn to write flamboyant characters.
Regarding the flamboyant personality, life “contains themes of love, sex, competition, and disloyalty, always with a lack of authenticity, as if the person shows more or expresses more than is really felt” (Edelstein 28).
Flamboyant individuals exhibit a bold persona. They are not wallflowers. When they enter a room, they bring daylight with them. They can be fun-loving with their dramatic flair and attention-seeking behavior. They are vivacious and possess a current of sexual magnetism. Learn to write flamboyant characters by studying those you know who exhibit these characteristics. Jot down the traits you find in them that are over the top.
Compare them with this list. They can:
With a wide variety of attributes to ascribe to the flamboyant personality, the tension in your story will heighten. You can have a lot of fun describing the clothing style she wears. Will it raise eyebrows? You can see that the flamboyant character can overshadow mainstream personalities.
Your flamboyant character can easily become disorganized and unable to function if her life becomes stressful. Imagine what she will do if faced with a major crisis.
What are some factors that contribute to the making of the flamboyant personality? What must their childhoods have been like?
Edelstein gives an example of what the childhood of the flamboyant may have been like:
Nicole grew up as the only daughter in a family where her father was overly seductive. Even when she was a child, he confided in her too much and talked explicitly about sex. She and her mother became locked in a competition for his affection. This cold distance between mother and daughter always remained. Nicole’s normal needs for nurturing were not met. There was little opportunity to get attention from others because the family kept to itself and was not at ease socially. (29)
In your story, as you’re weaving a tapestry of the flamboyant, consider writing a compelling backstory like the one above. It will infuse life into your story.
Learn more about the flamboyant personality from Linda Edelstein.
A great example of a flamboyant character in film is Captain Jack Sparrow from The Pirates of the Caribbean. Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp, is a pirate in this swashbuckling adventure. Sparrow captivates the audience with his bold and unpredictable behavior and over-the-top, sashaying entrances. He has an unmistakable charm that makes him a memorable flamboyant character.
Another flamboyant character was Little Richard, an American singer, pianist, and songwriter. He was known for his high energy and his ability to belt out a song. His onstage antics amused his audiences. When you saw and heard Little Richard, you realized you were in the presence of a great entertainer. His wild clothing style, heavy makeup, and big hair added to his allure.
Singer Lady Gaga is not one you can ignore. Her costumes are wildly over the top. She dresses in feathered outfits and tight revealing clothes. She sports heavy eye makeup and has big hair that is bleached blond hair. Can you imagine Lady Gaga as being a wallflower? Neither can I.
Not only are these flamboyant types grandiose in their actions, but in their dialogue as well, designed to draw attention to themselves. It’s amazing to see how far their behavior will go in their insatiable quest for admiration. Taken to the extreme, their behavior can be intrusive and obnoxious.
The flamboyant character will be unlike mainstream characters. She will bring energy to the table, whether positive or negative. With her undercurrent of sexual tension, she’s bold enough to go for the man who’s betrothed to another. Since she’s competitive with other women, she plots to make sure she hooks him. Then her next calculated move is to work her way up to the leading lady in his life. This can make for a compelling plot twist.
In short, including the flamboyant personality in stories adds to a rich tapestry of characters that will play a significant role. They are often pivotal characters in storytelling, leaving the reader wondering to what extent this persona will display her dramatic action and unique magnetism. This character will make the dull bright and will put a new spin on the narrative, whether it’s with her humor or because she has become unglued.
Keep this information in the forefront of your mind as you learn to write flamboyant characters. In this way, you are well on your way toward mastering the art of storytelling.
All images created with Dream by Wombo, including Liberace, Captain Jack Sparrow, Little Richard, and Lady Gaga.