image: a rainbow arcing over a green village

A Life In 7 Lines: Cillian Ó Ceallacháin, Leprechaun

Allow stereotypes to assist in writing complex characters.

Cillian Ó Ceallacháin, Leprechaun. Considers himself a loner and systematically avoids people. A psychiatric evaluation diagnoses him with the following disorders: insomnia, anti-social personality disorder and agoraphobia. Cillian’s favorite quote:

Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never give in.
–Winston Churchill

Got teased early on for his fashion sense: he only wears white, black and pink; says “green brings out the more unflattering tones” in his complexion but will wear the traditional color for special occasions and professional portraits. Cillian rents  a guest house in Sunset Plaza, doesn’t drink alcohol and listens to jazz. He is the only male sibling in a family of nine from Boulder, Colorado.


Think of a character you want to write about. Write down her name and her job, such as “Fiona Ferguson, Web designer.” In the next three sentences, describe her so that she fits commonly held beliefs or stereotypes about people who do this type of work. In the next three sentences, tell us something about your character that goes against the stereotypes.