14 June, 2012

Is There A Certain Type Of Character You Like To Write About?

By Jonathan Joseph Bondhus, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Or read about?

You see, I was thinking about the protagonists of the novels I've written.

A majority of them are introverted, very intelligent (either academically or socially or both), and are capable fighters. Those are also the types of characters I like to read about, though my reading tastes are wider than my writing tastes and I tend to branch out more in books than in my own fiction.

Do you have a favorite sort of character? Do you write about the same characters you enjoy reading about the most?

-----The Golden Eagle


Anonymous said...

I was just thinking about this the other day. I realized that I like to write about sarcastic protagonists that still have a pretty sensitive side. I tried to write a soft character the other day, but she still turned out pretty witty and independent. I guess you just have to go with it. ;)

running4him said...

hmmm. tough question. I guess sedentary people who are thrown into an active life or death situation, where their emotions are gone wild and they need to find out who they really are, or can become...

Matt said...

That's a good question, I've always been a fan of the anti-hero or just a villain. I feel like they are usually so stale and stereotypical.

Old Kitty said...

I've never really thought of this! I mean the last full book I read - Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Lisbeth as a character is someone I'd run away from - she may be feisty and fierce but she scared the bejesus out of me - then again the novel would have been much poorer without her and she blazed through the story magnificently. I think there was one character I can totally say I couldn't stand - that was Becky Sharp of Vanity Fair. She was cold and selfish and hurtful - I don't know - there was no depth to her. I mean I could argue the same about Madame Bovary but I loved Emma Bovary - she used and emotionally abused people but I loved her. LOL! So I guess I don't have a type of character I like reading about - depends on how the character comes across I suppose!

Take care

Krista McLaughlin said...

That is a really tough question. I guess I like reading about people overcoming things, but I think it would be good to read about a villain that wasn't really evil. I read too many books from the same female perspective, but since my current book I'm revising is from the male POV - it's a whole new character to tackle.

Great question!

laughingwolf said...

i'm with you... give me one who blends with the crowd, rises to the occasion, and reverts back to non-descript

it's enough for the protagonist to know, giving her/him anonymity - i despise hoards of 'admirers'...

any antagonist must, at least, be the equal of the protagonist

J.W. Alden said...

I've found a lot of my earlier works featured introverted characters with some kind of underlying dissatisfaction with the "status quo" of the world they inhabit (though sometimes that dissatisfaction doesn't express itself until the inciting event of the story takes place).

With some of my more recent stories, I've made a conscious effort to stray from that, though I find the muse is still giving me stories centralized on character worldview. I don't know what that says about my subconscious!


Samantha Sotto said...

I like to write about characters who are not like me AT ALL. (Which is probably why I write love stories -I don't have a romantic bone in my body in real life. lol)

Anonymous said...

I tend to find myself really enjoying about strong females who use humor to deal with things...

Jemi Fraser said...

Good question! I like reading about MCs who get braver and stronger as the story goes along :)

Beth said...

I like really hot, devoted, protective guys. Heroes. I totally write this. In fact, I was once rejected for having a "too heroic" male lead.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I like the never surrender type characters and those who put others first.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You write about the same characters as do I. My main character is smart, introverted, and definitely a fighter. Almost to a fault...

prerna pickett said...

I tend to write girls that are strong, but emotionally crippled when it comes to the maternal figure in their life.

Christine Rains said...

I was thinking about this recently too. I typically write strong, stubborn, intelligent, and independent women who have weird quirks. I find it difficult to write women who are docile or have a soft femininity. I like fighters.

Charles Gramlich said...

I tend to write about two types of characters. 1: the man, or sometimes woman, of action. Strong, resiliant, take charge, daring. I am not that kind of person.

2: the brooding and half insane loner. I used to be that kind of person. STill am at times.

Those are also the same kinds of characters I like to read about, though more about 1 than 2.

Bee Zors said...

Hmm, my MCs all tend to be female, told in the first person point of view. Kind of shy, but not afraid to stand up for themselves, and (at least I like to think) witty and funny!

Michael Horvath said...

Like many people said, that is a tough question. I can't say that I have any I particularly like to read about in fiction, but as far as non-fiction goes I like (auto)biographies and I tend to read those about people I relate to.

Traci Kenworth said...

I like strong, actiony characters who aren't afraid to be human. But I also like the soulful, sensitive type just trying to survive. It depends on the story, I guess, and how they win me over. I find my heroes to be of the same mold as above with a few exceptions.

Angelina C. Hansen said...

I love a smart character with a great sense of humor and a fatal flaw, like impulsiveness.

shelly said...

This will probably sound strange but I like to write about the moron who has a streak of brillance. OR, the villan that loves and will give their life for a hamster.

....Petty Witter said...

Now there's something to think about. I think as long as they are interesting and believable they have the potential to be characters I'll enjoy.

Michael Pierce said...

I like to write and read about troubled characters, good characters with bad urges. I do see that there are some similarity to my characters because there's similarity to my writing. I want to create a character unlike all the others I've written. That's my challenge to myself.

Cherie Reich said...

Hmm, I haven't given it too much thought. I would say most of my characters are intelligent and fairly introverted too.

Carol Kilgore said...

Good question. And one I'll give some thought to. I have eclectic tastes, so it's not an easy-answer question.

Happy Weekend!

Anonymous said...

I like and appreciate any character who's authentic and interesting, but my favorite ones are funny or quirky.

Anonymous said...

I just look for full, well written characters. Not all the ones I'm drawn to are "nice"...villians, when well defined, can be juicy.

Edith said...

I find it challenging to write from a male character's perspective, so most of my protagonists, at least the ones whose POVs I write from, are female. They are usually sensitive, observant, and practical. I'm trying to branch out, however, and write from some perspectives I'm not good at or not as comfortable with. I enjoy reading books from all kinds of perspectives, but especially ones where the MC displays a strong, virtuous, courageous character even when hurt.

Pat Hatt said...

I like them all, if they are written well, which I try haha

Precy Larkins said...

I like broken characters who eventually come to realize there's so much more to them than what people have made them believe (or labeled them) their whole life. :)

Liz said...

When I write, the main character tends to react to situations like I would. It's easier for me that way.

As for reading, I don't necessarily have a favorite type of character. There are some characters that I enjoy reading about that I would never, ever attempt to write about.

Krispy said...

I tend to like snarky characters, but the snark has to feel natural/authentic to the character. I like characters that are good-natured and funny but maybe somewhat not-suited for the role they've been given in life. It's hard to explain this type. I also like quirky characters, ones that are maybe a little socially awkward, and I like humble, helpful, and competent types with an air of tragedy (e.g. Professor Lupin in Harry Potter). I don't know. There's a lot, and it doesn't help that I often latch onto minor/supporting characters more than I do leading ones!

Heather Murphy said...

Stopping by for the A-Z Road Trip. I like to write and read about strong women and "real" characters

Kari Marie White said...

I like reading about characters who purposefully put themselves outside of their comfort zones.

Based on the novels I've written so far, I guess this is true in my writing as well.

Rob-bear said...

Strange. The primary characters that seem to prop up in my scribbles are strong people (men and women), confident in their skills, yet of a quieter nature. They're past being brash and hung ho! And they seem to get a lot done.

Paul Tobin said...

I like genre fiction, as well as SF I like crime stories, mainly for the puzzle, some series really chime, usually for the characters, Michael Dibden's Inspector Zen series, John D. McDonald for Travis McGee, I know he's so middle 20th Century but the plots draw you in, Sherlock Holmes of course, Ian Rankin's series about Inspector Rebus, although that ended with a rather disappointing last novel. The thing I find with series is that I can be very forgiving if the latest is not up to the usual standard, I still want to know about the characters.
If I am honest, at times I tend to write myself, or I so identify with the character that it makes no difference. I think there are some topics my poetry returns to, but I try to avoid the obvious.

Rek said...

My characters are flawed in a good way, since I write realistic fiction and they tend to be Asian in looks and thoughts since that's my home turf...but a Caucasian character would probably be based on a movie or book character I liked as hero/ine or villain/vamp or tourists and corporate people added in, by way of observation or interaction.

Crystal Collier said...

I think it's difficult for most writers to break out of their usual "mold". Even pros like Joss Whedon recycle personalities and traits. I think that's the hardest part of writing, inventing real deep people who others want to cheer on.

Anonymous said...

My characters develop as I write the story. I fill out their Character Profile" as I go along. I rarely develop them from the start. The respond to challenges or start trouble or deal with adversity and I develop them this way.

MyTricksterGod said...

Have you ever collected personalities?
What I find odd about writing is that... it's sort of like one of those assorted chocolate packs. I've personally always wanted to write with my personal characteristics within one of the main characters-- mainly qualities of introversion... but oddly enough, I've found myself always saying "Ooo, but wait, I've never seen this character act on stage before, what happens if I chose this?"
And munch, munch, munch, I choose the personality traits I've seldom experienced in my life and go along with it.
I've actually gone so far as to collect personalities-- or try to (as entering a human being into a text file is not all that simple), wondering what would happen if my boy here, or this girl here were in this story.
I work in a very social environment, and all the time I wonder what scenarios I may place my collected action figures.
I can say a lot more on it, but I'd probably just make a blog out of if I went any further, and though Edgar Allen Poe might have been artistic enough to dream within a dream, I'm not so sneaky as to post a blog within a blog and say it was an honest comment.
adios amiga!

Wendy Lu said...

Ahh, you would think that this is an easy question, but it isn't! In the past, I think a lot of my characters embodied a personality very close to my own. But in recent years I've matured through my writing and have written from the perspectives of many characters who are, well, quite unlike me. I'm not sure if I have a certain or favorite type, though. I think all my characters tend to have very strong and particular motives for what they do - they're very passionate. Insightful question there!

By the way, I'm hosting an awesome blogfest and critique giveaway at my blog from June 22-24 that you should totally come participate in if you're interested! :) Hope you have a great day.

~Wendy Lu

The Roarin' Twenties Poetry Blogfest + Chapter Critique Giveaway (hosted by The Red Angel)

Shelley said...

Interesting question! I don't write stories, but if I did I think I'd write about characters that are like me because I can best write from that perspective. And when I read, I like any character type really, as long as I can relate to them in someway. :)

☆•.¸.Mildred.¸.•☆ said...

I love reading Victorian novels;o)
Thanks for sharing;o)

Hope you are having a fabulous weekend***

Anonymous said...

I'm a sucker for the classic antihero, like Bogart in Cassablanca -- we know he's got a heart of gold down there somewhere.

The Golden Eagle said...

Madeline: It's certainly hard to go against the flow!

Running4him: I like characters who are forced from their comfort zone, too. It's interesting to watch them transform.

Matt: Sometime I want to write from the perspective of a true villain or anti-hero. I've got a few characters that aren't "good", but they're not really evil, either.

Old Kitty: Lisbeth was definitely a scary character! She might have been through difficult situations--but she's not a really nice person, either. To put it mildly. :P

I agree!

Krista: I love writing through male POV. Female can be easier (since I am female. LOL) but I like writing male characters as well.


Laughingwolf: It's a lot harder for someone well-known in a story world to find information. Not that there aren't good books about royalty or other popular people--but they're often in the dark.

Absolutely. A lot of good antagonists can beat the protagonist at some point, too.

J.W.: I write a lot of stories like that as well! Revolution, rebellion, war . . . I'm attracted to that kind of fiction. :P

Samantha: Me, neither. I'm so far away from "romantic" that I doubt I could write a good romantic scene.

Tfwalsh: Hooray for female protagonists!

Jemi: Me, too. :)

Beth: That surprises me. A lot of books published these days seem to have "heroes" as the love interest.

Susan: It's nice to find a selfless character.

Alex: Wow. That's cool. :)

Prerna: I'll bet that adds backstory for your characters.

Christine: Same here!

Charles: Neither am I. But I agree, they're great to read about. As are loners--they usually have interesting perspectives.

Bee Zors: I'm sure they are, then. :)

Michael: Autobiographies can be fascinating.

Traci: True! Context matters a lot for how a character will come across.

Angelina: Impulsiveness can certainly be fatal. :P

Shelly: I don't think that's strange; we all have our quirks and flaws and weak/strong points.

The Golden Eagle said...

Petty Witter: I agree. I'll like (or at least tolerate) a character I wouldn't normally relate to if they're believable as people.

Michael: Excellent challenge! And a difficult one; there's so much room for overlap.

Cherie: Cheers to the intelligent and introverted. :)

Carol: Awesome. I had hoped to get people's minds turning.

Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

Medeia: Funny characters can be really enjoyable reads.

Stuart: Definitely. They bring a lot to the table.

Edith: That's certainly a hard thing to do. Your characters must be very strong. :)

Pat: I do, too. And you certainly rhyme well in your blog posts! Talk about a cast of characters.

Precy: Coming of age stories are wonderful. :)

Liz: Interesting. I don't often write characters that respond like I do to situations; I suppose it's a bit of wishful thinking on my part. :P

Krispy: Snark can be great, when it's done right. Professor Lupin was definitely a well-done character.

Heather: Thanks for coming by! :)


Kari: That intrigues me, since a lot of books seem to have events thrust upon the character--not the other way around.

Rob-bear: Doesn't seem so strange to me. Your characters sound very real.

Paul: I love reading series for that reason. The characters and their personality are always there, no matter the plot/circumstances.

Rek: "Flawed in a good way". I like the way you put that. :)

Crystal: Indeed, it is difficult.

Stephen: I don't often create characters at the start, either. I tried it once, but that book never went anywhere. :P

MyTricksterGod: In a way, yes.

I often add elements that aren't like me at all to my characters as well. It's fun to explore the possibilities.

Wendy: Awesome. It can be easy to relate to someone with strong passions, since I think we all have at least one thing we care a lot about.

Thanks for letting me know!

Shelley: There's certainly a range of characters out there. :)

Mildred: Victorian novels can be fun--I love steampunk, which falls into that time period.

You too!

Milo: I need to read that book. I love antiheroes.