Thursday, July 28, 2011

Discussion: Characters

One of the things I always find interesting when it comes to books is how important characters are to readers. People will often decide whether or not they like a book based on whether or not they like the characters--I'm certainly no exception. I fall for characters, hard sometimes.

I wonder, though, what makes you love a character in a book? Complexity? Heart? Goodness? Moral ambiguity?

Do you like characters in books based on the same reasons you like people in real life? If they share things in common with you do you find them more relatable? Are you more likely to love characters with the same traits over and over again, or do the specific circumstances of their story and the writing ability of the author matter?

Who are your favorite characters of all time?

I think I have a few different kinds of characters that I love. I love characters that are good, for example, Peeta in The Hunger Games. Peeta is the personification of hope, goodness, intellect, and creativity. I love characters that are so well written I feel I know them intimately, like Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind. She can be utterly unlikeable but there is never any doubt about who she is, she's a fierce survivor. I love characters with a good heart like Go-boy in Sometimes We're Always Real Same-Same who means well and loves a lot, but is deeply troubled.

Taking the question further, what kind of characters would you like to see more of in books? I would love to see more characters of faith that are fleshed out as being more than just religious characters and being good or bad depending on the author's view of that religion. I'd love to see more single women who lead fulfilling lives. What do you want to see?


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