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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Characters

C should be for Catch Up even though it has become woefully apparent that I will never do so. I figure at this rate, I should hit G sometime around mid May.

Anyway, C is for Characters and I'm actually piggybacking off my Boring post. Now obviously, what doesn't work for me with that particular boring book (which will remain unnamed) is, in fact, working for thousands of others. Boring is an opinion.

But for me, and with this book, it's stemming from the shallowness of the character. And I don't mean that the character himself is shallow (in fact well done shallow with a great character arc is fun to read--think Before I Fall) I mean that this character feels stock to me--no depth.

When the author is telling me that the character is experiencing an emotion, I don't feel it.
When the author is telling me the character wants something, I don't care if he gets it.
When the author is showing me action, it's like watching an over done, too long car chase. All effect, no emotional urgency.

I love to read. Love, love, love it. The reason I love it is because of how various books over my life have made me feel. Made me believe. When I read, I want to fall in love with a character. I want to defy death with a character. I want pursue a real desire with a character.

When a character seems like a cardboard cut out that's moving through those high concept back flips, I ultimately don't really care what happens to them.

I know hook is important--and obviously you can publish and sell thousands based on that and a good command of grammar and sentence structure.

But if you want me to love you, you have to make me feel it.

4 comments:

  1. I think this is so, so important, too. I don't like to read books where I don't care about the characters. Make them flawed. Make them struggle. Make them a "real" person so I can care about them even if their hobbies and desires are foreign to me.

    (I very, very much hope that I pull this off with my characters. O_O)

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  2. Characters are who the things happen to. Why care about a volcanic eruption unless you're rooting for the elderly man trying to rush to his stranded granddaughter before it's too late?

    Great post! Happy to have come your way via the A-Z Challenge.

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  3. and it's a lesson we can take back to our own writing too! Hook is important but sometimes connecting to the character is more important!

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  4. I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Powerful Woman Writer Award.
    Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
    ~Deirdra

    ReplyDelete