Grab your funnel cake and cotton candy boys and girls because it’s time for the YA Indie Carnival!!!
This week’s main attraction:
Favorite character you’ve written…
Heh, heh… well. This is a bit awkward as this was my suggested topic. You see, I haven’t really written any characters of my very own, so….yeah. Heh.
BUT, I can tell you what draws me TO a character.
I am a very character-driven reader and I tend to gravitate toward stories that have extremely strong and well-developed characters. Characters I love tend to have these qualities:
1. They are likable or are at least extremely intriguing
2. They have genuine depth with believable dialogue and emotional responses
I love characters that are sympathetic or empathetic, who have feelings and experiences that I can relate to. I love when I’m able to love characters, typically these characters share my values… or at least a few of them. We, as humans tend to gravitate toward the familiar, and I am no exception to this tendency. I value confidence, bravery, honesty, discretion, compassion, and intelligence, so characters that display these qualities are probably going to be among my favorites. That’s not to say I possess those qualities (haha!), but they are qualities that I hope to aspire to and that I value in my friends, loved ones and people in general.
Now, I like to like characters, but I don’t have to like them for them to be my favorites. Case in point: Snape. He was a favorite character of mine throughout the Harry Potter series. He was mean, vindictive, unfair and at times I thought he was just plain evil, but his character was one of my favorites because he was a villain with depth. Snape wasn’t a one dimensional antagonist, he had a deeply sympathetic side and an emotional torment and vulnerability I found heartbreaking. I think it shows exceptional maturity as a writer when an author is able to create a complex villain who worms their way into my sympathies, who isn’t clearly black or white but all shades of gray — a villain who I hope can be redeemed or a villain who is so deliciously devious that I just love to hate them.
But it’s not just enough for the characters to possess certain qualities or relateable feelings or experiences. The character needs to feel genuine — a living, breathing, 3-dimensional person who could walk right off the page. There is nothing that jars me out of a story more than a shallow, under-developed, cardboard-cutout of a character whose words and reactions feel manufactured and ungenuine. Before I invest myself in a character it’s important for me to ascertain if the author has also invested time intimately getting to know their own characters and if they have created a well-rounded, believable person with likes, dislikes, quirky personality traits, values, strengths and weaknesses. I need to know that the author knows their character well enough to be faithful to who that person is throughout their book or series.
So yeah…it’s not like I ask for much in my characters, huh? 😉
What draws you, Dear Reader, to the characters you love or love-to-hate?
And now for the…
CONGRATULATIONS to the following authors for their 2011 Cybil Awards nominations!!!
Darby Karchut (Griffin Rising)
P.J. Hoover (Solstice)
Laura A.H. Elliott (Winnemucca)
If I missed anyone I apologize, please let me know so I can add you!
Laura Elliott will be in Portland, OR tonight at 6:30-8:15 pm at the West Linn Library, West Linn, OR 97068 with The Rain Boots Required Young Adult Authors talking about “The Magic of Magical Realism.” She will also be at Wordstock Oct 8-9:)
Refracted Light is excited to have fellow carnie, Kimberly Kinrade on the blog today with a GIVEAWAY of her book, Forbidden Mind!
And now the link list!
- Fisher Amelie (Author of The Understorey)
- K. C. Blake (Author of Vampire Rules)
- J.L. Bryan (Author of the Paranormals series)
- Courtney Cole (Author of The Bloodstone Saga, Princess & Guardian)
- Rachel Coles (Author of Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie and other stories)
- Laura Elliott (Author of Winnemucca)
- Wren Emerson (Author of I Wish…)
- T. R. Graves (Author of The Warrior series)
- P.J. Hoover (Author of Solstice)
- Kimberly Kinrade (Author of Bits of You, Pieces of Me and Forbidden Mind)
- Patti Larsen (Author of the short story, Henry and the newly released Run)
- Michelle Leighton (Author of the Blood Like Poison series, The Reaping, Wiccan, Caterpillar, and the upcoming Madly series)
- Lexus Luke (Author of Manitou and The Sky People Saga)
- Amy Maurer Jones (Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy)
- Alicia McCalla (Author of the upcoming debut novel Breaking Free)
- Cheri Schmidt (Author of the Fateful series and Fair Maiden)
- Madeline Smoot (Author of Missing)
- Dani Snell (You are here. Book Blogger)
- Cidney Swanson (Author of Rippler)
- Cyndi Tefft (Author of Between)
- Suzy Turner (Author of December Moon and Raven)
- Nicole Williams (Author of Eternal Eden and the much anticipated sequel, Fallen Eden)
- Gwenn Wright (Author of Filter)