It Takes Character

DragonflymuseI am working on that blog series I promised once upon a time.  Honest!  In fact, I spent all morning sorting through my head and writing out concrete notes for it.

I spent much of that applying research on series to several ideas in my head.  I love telling stories and I struggle with deciding which story promises the best investment for your time.  Yes, I said your time.  Stories happen all the time, all day, all through my sleep, everywhere for me in my head.  I want the best from myself because I value the time each of you give me.

Onward.  This article on What Prose Writers Can Learn From Television, led my recent research for the best blog series I can write.  I noted the guidelines and frequently referred back as I delved into each of my favourite shows and series (both past and present), my favourite characters, and why.  I discovered trends; interesting characters forging the most common top reason for favourite shows.  Intricate plot follows.  My favourite characters are smart, funny, sarcastic, roguish/scoundrel, ditzy but nice, quirky, awkward, strong, sacrificing, loyal, “special” in some way, studious, charming (but real charm, not smarmy charm), spunky, mysterious, and as the above article points out, broken in some way.

I am particularly fond of the flirtatious rogue trope (but not the misogynistic/arrogant one, the rakish, but nice and charming “troublemaker” who never takes things seriously) and the tough-chick types.  Of course, these are all just surface traits for the most part, I like character depth too.

Point is, I’m now farther along in character development for the blog series, but so many interesting characters need creating yet.  I turn to you, my current audience (and perhaps future audience if you just started reading after I archive this post – I can always add characters).  What character types interest you most?  Or, name a favourite character or two and tell me a bit about why you like that character so much.  What sort of lead do you prefer reading about?  Any particular leads that make you grouchy?

About Saronai

I'm an eclectic amalgam of confusingly combined oddities. PS If I liked your post it means I really liked your post. You don't have to visit back, but it would be nice. Either way, I read it because I wanted to and liked it because I did. I don't do the fake like for returns thing :)
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4 Responses to It Takes Character

  1. Richard L Wiseman says:

    I don’t mind what kind of lead is in a book as long as the lead character has ‘depth’. So many times even great books have lead characters who have a limited number of responses to situations in the plot; people aren’t like that in real life, but writers think that characters have to be consistent and if they do change, change at a measured pace. So I like lead characters who do something ‘out of character’ in the sense that they react ‘believably’ within the plot, but behave in a way we don’t expect. For instant the stock thriller hard man who has a moment of fear and weakness or the victim who has a surge of courage. These unexpected reactions or behaviours, well written, make a lead character one of ‘depth’. For instance the lead character in ‘Enduring Love’ by Ian McKewan surprises the reader in the last chapters and Conan-Doyle’s Holmes has unexpected outbursts of illogical emotion or strangely makes a mistake. So no favourite type of lead, but a favourite lead profile.

    • Saronai says:

      I can definitely agree with you there. I rarely think about character archetypes in the way I talk of them in this post. Usually I just come up with characters, write the story around them, and use my studies in psychology, along with their background, to inform their behavior. Likely all my characters fit an archetype or character frame-work.

      Well written and believable as real people attract me far quicker than a barely-filled in archetype or character frame, even if it’s a frame I like (such as the roguish charmer I mentioned…I’ve encountered a bare-minimum framework of that character type and hated him).

  2. kasturika says:

    Being a feminist at heart, I try to look for stories with strong female characters – preferably as the lead character. No damsels in distress for me!

    • Saronai says:

      I’m the same way! I ❤ action girls so much. I've noticed I have a tendency to write my leads into their own strengths. Basically, even when my female characters start out mousy and meek, they eventually find their inner strengths, even the ones who aren't really action girls persay.

      I prefer reading strong female leads too. I liked the Harry Potter books, but without Hermione…I probably never would have finished them. I also love how Jo turned her backstory/information by character tool and turned her into a believable person at the top of my favourites list (at least in my opinion).

      Thanks for the response!

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