In recent weeks, I read a lot about the building of characters, how to make sure they are believable, that readers can root for them, love or hate them…Here are some of the posts which got me to ponder (or smile):
- On Character Attributions by Stephanie S. Kuehn (on YAHighway)
- People have layers by Valerie Kemp (on Sisters in Scribe)
- Building Secondary characters by L.J. Boldyrev (on Sisters in Scribe)
- A Bunch of Articles on Character by Writer Musings
- Peach Has Got It! (Your Nintendo Guide to YA Female protagonist) & It’s-a Me, Mario! (Your Nintendo Guide to Male YA Protagonists) by Sarah Enni
After all, we all have flaws and so do the people in the novels we read. On top of my head, I am thinking about a trilogy by Catherine Hermary-Vieille in which the women are clearly not perfect but they are idealistic or cynical, secret, fragile but strong, they commit errors, sometimes do not learn from them until it is too late, they embrace their feminine side or reject it. While my characters may not be as extreme (I promise I will do a book review on her trilogy soon :-)), they need to be authentic.
“A writer should create living people; people, not characters. A character is a caricature.”
My “people” grow with the novel itself, they tell me their past as they react to events thrown at them. One of my main male protagonists, Aleksi, is rebellious, tender, cynical, loving, mysterious, funny, clearly hot, complicated, smart and charming (totally reminds me of my husband *Disclaimer: he is reading this blog* :-))
He would be a mix of:
Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and no Aleksi is not a vampire)
Pacey from Dawson’s creek
Dylan from Beverly Hills(the early episodes)
Now tell me 🙂 As a reader: what makes you fall in love with a character? As a writer: who does your male protagonist remind you of?