Oh, schnapps! It's a book club. discussion

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message 1: by May (new)

May (maysbookshelf) | 131 comments Mod
I don't need to tell you guys the importance of characters in a good book. They help build the world with their personalities, values and morals, and their relationships with other characters. They are the eyes to society and psychology of the world.

What do you think makes up a good character? I mean this generally - even the little shit-heads in books can be good shit-heads. Is it a good balance between strength and weakness? A moral grey area? Consistency?


message 2: by Sally (new)

Sally (kanoe) | 56 comments Mod
- If I go from hating to loving a character, I'd say that's a success! I guess that'd be character growth/development? eg. Jaime Lannister

- They must be flawed. Actual flaws too, and not like, "too pretty for her own good" or "too nice/innocent/naive/open-minded/etc." Ugh, Mary Sues.

- They definitely need some set of morals/values. It'd be boring if they never came across some kind of moral dilemma in the book.

- Some personal goals/objectives would be nice. I like to root for those characters.

- At least SOME intelligence, please. Characters who get themselves into shitty situations because of their stupidity is just frustrating to read. Why root for them when the only reaction you'd get from reading is *facepalm*/*headdesk*/*groan*/etc.? Need characters with common sense please. We'd probably have a better emotional reaction to it when something happens to them.

- They have to be somewhat involved with the main storyline/conflict. Obviously. It'd really help if they weren't totally in the dark on everything! (Mockingjay fail.)


Things that annoy me personally:

- Judgmental characters
- Hypocritical characters
- Characters who hold a grudge and NEVER let go of it, not even at the end of the book/series.


message 3: by May (new)

May (maysbookshelf) | 131 comments Mod
You pretty much named all of the things I like to see in characters. Working on Ansible taught me that character development is no easy task - even one character requires so much thinking and plotting just to make that person make sense. Thinking about how authors have to keep up with an entire cast makes my mind boggle. Some authors do it better than others. Martin has successfully developed a huuuuge cast of characters which is amazing considering how deeply involved all the characters are in that plot. How he keeps up with all of them, I don't know.

I have a short list of favourite characters and two of them are from Watchmen. I love Rorschach and the Comedian because they were two characters who would not accept compromise. That might have been their biggest flaw or greatest strength - no one can really say. I really love that grey area of their characters and I think that's why they are the most loved in the graphic novel. The anti-hero.

When you become emotionally attached to a character, I think that means it's a good character. Somehow the author was able to reach you. Ender and Bean are on the top of my list. The entire series takes you from their childhood to their adulthood and you see all their successes and failures, their joys and heartaches, and I couldn't help but cry in the moments when they found the happiness they were looking for.

Ender has no flaws, though. He's just perfect. Haha! JK.

Things that annoy me:
- Inconsistent characters. I think characters should have some predictability to them. That's not to say that we should be able to guess every thought and action but we shouldn't be shocked when they do something.
- Characters who never develop. Static characters are the worst. No one stays unchanged in their life and it's bullshit if the author claims that they are stubborn or never learn. Everyone experiences some kind of change in their life. I'm not saying that every character needs to go through some dramatic coming of age moment. Sometime subtle changes are better than dramatic ones.


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