Faye’s Thoughts on… Characters

Posted on 24 April, 2015 by Faye - 2 Comments

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One of the things that I love most about reading is being introduced to a wide-range of characters, personalities and cultures. But characters have the power to make or break a novel so today I wanted to discuss characters with you.

The Relatable Character

This is probably my favourite character to read. These are the ones that you can relate to in some way because you can see them in yourself, your friends or someone you know. They’re the characters who you feel close to, cry when they cry and feel all the injustices of their world alongside them too. Reading a book with a relatable character can make the book more enjoyable, and you’re able to connect with the book on a more personal level. However, the drawback is that it can be difficult to read if it is too personal, actually causing the book to stop being an escape.

The Difficult Character

These are the characters that you simply cannot, on any level, sympathize with. They’re difficult because you don’t understand them or the actions they are taking and you perhaps want to throttle them. These characters can make or break a novel. Personally, I can read books with frustrating protagonists but they’re not always the ones I find most enjoyable. But I also know that difficult characters can help to make us more empathetic humans and are often used in books to make us really think.

The Two-Dimensional Ones

These are the characters that are flat. They are the characters that don’t have strong backgrounds, feel very stereotypical and are not able to be conceived as realistic. These are the types of characters that are more likely to ruin books. They have the power to force a reader to stop reading in frustration. However, depending on the book and writing, there are cases where these characters actually work well but this is very rare.

The Unreliable Characters

These are the ones that you trust who end up betraying you. It could be that they’re an unreliable narrator or that you thought they would change but they didn’t. These characters are ruthless but can often really work to keep the plot of the novel interesting and relevant. Of course, they can also ruin the book by breaking your trust in the whole story. They’re very pesky characters to write.

The Anti-Villains

These are the characters that you should hate but you can’t help but love. They’re usually bad characters who treat people harshly but you also get their back story and can’t help but see a softer side of their hearts; or you understand why they do what they do. Done well, these characters can make books truly encapsulating. Done wrong and the book will be a disaster.

There are many more character types I could mention but instead of making this post too long, I’m going to stop here. I still think my favourite characters are the relatable ones and I definitely enjoy the story more when I’m not frustrated with the characters in it, but I do like that every book is not the same.

What character types are your favourite? What other character types would you add?

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