In my short story, ALICIA, there’s a somewhat unlikable homicide detective named Dorndorf. I felt by making him such a jerk, it would make Leon that much more likeable.
To make Dorndorf unlikable, I decided to pull from my least favorite (television) cop. More specifically, Quentin Lance from ARROW. But, not season 2 of ARROW. He was cool during that season. I’m talking Seasons 1 (Detective) and 3 (Captain) Lance.
So, I had to dig down and figure out why Lance made me so annoyed. Then, I had to use these reason to make my Dorndorf just as irritating. In the end, I came up with two reasons.
Reason One: Pigeon Holing
No matter what Oliver Queen does, as far as Lance as concerned, Oliver is up to no good. Lance has a long list of reasons, mostly involving his daughters, for thinking this of Oliver, but even when doing good/the right thing he will say Oliver is up to no good.
Reason Two: Stubborn Beyond Reason
Once Lance decides something, like being mad at his daughter, Laurel, for keeping a secret, he sticks to it. Even when everyone else says he should give it up, he hangs on tooth and nail, until he really has no other option. I could see this leading to some very bad men being put away, but usually Lance uses it to terrorize our masked hero and alienate his family members.
However, Lance does have good qualities. His best quality tends to feed his faults, though. He loves his daughters a lot. This was not something I could show in a short story, so I went with his second good quality, which is he does his job to the best of his abilities.
But, for Dorndorf, I tried to take it further because I lacked the ability to show something else. I tried to show, that despite his narrow mind, he wasn’t some jaded detective. He cared about those affected by the crimes and criminals he investigates. Dorndorf hates seeing people, especially good people, hurt because crime.
If you’re curious as how stubborn beyond reason Detective Dorndorf pigeon holes Leon, pick up ALICIA. Share your thoughts on Lance or any other TV cop you love to hate in the comments!