Causes: home environment, regional influences, monetary status, parental expectations, a desire to do the right thing, not wanting to offend, snootiness, insecurity, a strict rule-following background
Characters in literature: Aunt Alexandra (To Kill a Mockingbird), Miss Rachel (Anne of Green Gables), members of The Daughters of the American Revolution (Beautiful Creatures)
Positives: Propers are polite, upstanding citizens who don't intentionally cause trouble within societal norms. They respect authority. Propers can be counted on to toe the company line; they make excellent Yes-men. They are extremely loyal, sticking to a person, group, philosophy, or belief to the bitter end.
Negatives: Propers are comfortable with the way things have always been and don't respond well to change. They are often close-minded and stick to their guns even when they're wrong. Because morals and 'rightness' are often handed down through ancient tradition or a chain of command, Propers rely on others to tell them what is right and don't often think for themselves. Because they value propriety, Propers are often disdainful of those who behave inappropriately.
Use proper manner of speaking, dress neatly, keep a tidy house, follow a predictable schedule, are aware of the perception of others, firm disciplinarians, often heard quoting the whys and wherefores of propriety (age-old sayings, Bible verses, quotes from literature and famous figures in history, etc.),
Clichés to Avoid:
The proper woman married to a beaten-down, lazy man. The hypocritical Proper, following the rules in one area of life and serving himself in another.
Twists on the Traditional Proper:
- Since Propers are often portrayed negatively, make your Proper's motivations pure.
- Give your Proper a disgusting or unnerving habit that seems completely appropriate to her.
- Instead of mixing things up by throwing an improper character into Proper society, drop your Proper into a society that doesn't value such things. Let the Proper cause a positive shake-up, for a change.
Conflicting characteristics that will make your Proper unique or interesting: angry, apologetic, clumsy, curious, doubtful, lazy, messy, naughty, noisy, tolerant, wise