Thursday, May 21, 2009


Who are your favourite literary characters?

Nathan Bransford's post on favourites got me to thinking about this question a little more seriously. It's fun to think about your favourite characters... but it might be helpful to think about why they are your favourites. As a reader, what is it about those characters that drew you to them? What made them captivating? Haunting? Hilarious? Are there any common threads that run through these favourite characters?

The next step, I guess, is to consider the question in regards to your own writing. Who are your favourites among your own creations? Any similarities with your favourites as a reader?

I guess what I'm thinking about is the key elements for the creation of captivating characters. What can we draw from the characters we are most infatuated with in literature and carry into our own writing, our own creative process? What are the elements that draw you to these characters, and do you make use of these elements in your own writing? And have you ever been inspired by a character you've read to create one of your own?


Ms Kitty said...

Yes, I have though it was a film character, and the actor who played him. I needed a way to make a very hard, cardboard character into a romance hero.

It worked very, very well - because I had the visual in my mind, and most importantly, the voice and mannerisms.

I've found that I can't translate written characters as easily as I can visual ones. Odd isn't it?

Sarah Jensen said...

Mr. Darcy. That's my infatuation.

As for my own characters, the men are strong, but can be vulnerable. They have cried, but not just at anything.

The women, are the same, but with more moments of insane emotion, because honestly, that's how I am. Hormones tend to make me emotional sometimes, so I make my poor women emotional with no reason as well.

I try to make them as three-dimensional as possible. They have trials that they have to work hard to overcome. And they work. They aren't lazy.

And they have varying degrees of intelligence, but they all try to improve and use what they've been given. They don't have to be the smartest, but to me, they have to be willing to learn, even if it's difficult for them.

Ms Kitty said...

My male characters are wounded warriors - broken by fate and yet, they aren't giving up.

My female characters are struggling, trying to be 'good' as in taking care of others. Both need to learn to take care of themselves.

They want stability and family above all. Yet the men in their lives are going to take them out of their comfort zone.

Writing these two stories has been very interesting. I'm learning so much in the process.