I feel like the title is pretty self-explanatory but I love characters and I love talking about them so this post is perfect. Characters are a massive factor in whether I will enjoy a book and obviously I have my favourite characters so I thought I would talk about particular traits I love in them.
Note: I don’t necessarily like everyone who has these characteristics but generally I do. I’ve put examples of characters to demonstrate my point (or at least try.) The characters listed are also more than the one trait I have listed, obviously.
OTHER IMPORTANT NOTE: some of these traits I like because of the interesting characters they create, not that I think they are good, healthy traits to have. Whilst others are traits that I think make a good character that I would like in real life as an actual person.
I have included artwork but I shared the art from their source and if you click on them it will take you to it. I own none of this artwork and all rights go to the creators which are stated on each and every piece. The characters obviously belong to their respective authors too.
THE EXASPERATED CHARACTER.
Eyeroll. Eyeroll. Eyeroll. Then I’m in love. I call this the ‘stitch complex’ but basically, they are only in the situation because they need something/have to be and they are basically fed up with everything. They are annoyed and let everyone know it. Often they are in hard situations so it is kind of understandable why they are like this. They are also willing to point out why everything is doomed and require others to act their best. Also, they can be slightly afraid of other emotions for whatever reason. They aren’t a necessarily positive influence but I find them funny, complex and on occasion relatable.
Example: Helene Aquilla from An Ember in Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
THE PEOPLE WATCHER.
You know those character who notice everything and pick up on small details about settings and characters. Well? I love them and all their sneaky ways. Not only can their perspective provide interesting insight into other characters, it also adds layers to the story. And they are so effortlessly smart in a non-showy way so I love them.
Example: Adam from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
THE OBLIVIOUS TO SOCIETY ONE.
These characters can be pure comedic gold. They can be awkward, sweet and funny because they don’t care about social norms. Now, I’m honestly thinking of Castiel who is an Angel from Supernatural. This is a rare quality but it does exist. People often don’t know want to be different so when someone doesn’t care about these restrictions it can open up a lot of possibilities and freedom.
Example: David from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
THE ‘I’M POETIC ABOUT MY PAIN’ ONES.
Pain we know it. We fear it and sometimes welcome it. We are all familiar with it in a way so characters who can reflect and talk about it can be a big hit. I think when they talk about it poetically and deeply, they really become easy to connect to. It makes you feel for them so much and I think they are very special characters (who need a hug).
Example: Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s writing for Zach (Last Night I Sang To The Monster) and Aristotle (Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets To The Universe)
Outcasts are the characters who stick to themselves. I feel like the best thing about these characters are how they are relatable. I feel like most people can relate to not fitting in or feeling left out in some way. The feelings of these characters can be so comforting. Loneliness is a lonely emotion so outcasts really remind you that you aren’t alone. Plus these characters usually find someone in their stories and that will forever be one of the most beautiful things.
Example: Darius from Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
Honesty is one of those quality which just equates to respect. They can be an arsehole but if they acknowledge that fact then I have a tiny bit of respect for them. It is so refreshing to see and it can be showed in the forms of many different characters. But I admire these characters and they become a character’s whose advice you can trust.
Example: Luna from Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
I love characters who are so calm and chill. They make you feel okay and, dare I say, it is such a power move. You can always rely on them and they make situations better just by their calmness. I also love it when these calm characters suddenly lose control… it is amazing and you know things have gone wrong in these moments!!
Example: Frey from The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke
I DON’T CARE…. OH, WAIT I DO.
People say that it is a British thing to never talk about emotions and basically avoid their feelings but it feels like a human thing if I’m honest. Anyway, I like these characters who have convinced themselves they don’t care but then they do. It is basically repressing your emotions and it’s very unhealthy but it’s relatable. I think it creates an interesting relationship dynamic as well. These characters are best when they realise their errors and become emotionally mature and healthy in the end.
Example: Nasir from We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal
Wait, I said I liked honest characters and now I’m saying I like liars?!?! Well I’m a complicated person. But liars have to think on their feet and be smarter than everyone else around them. Being a liar naturally puts characters in precarious situations, so I’m basically addicted to the drama. I think liars are often morally grey character so I love to explore their character throughout the book and see where they end up. (Not a quality to be admired though)
Example: Locke from The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
I love looking at the effects of media on people and being famous naturally is an exaggerated example of this. I think it is so interesting how a wide scale audience of people far away can affect people’s action and opinion of themselves. You can also see the way media misses things out and changes things. The media often has a distorted image and someone being famous really highlights this. I think it is very relevant and very interesting.
RELATED: Lais @ The Bookish Skies did a very interesting piece on ‘The Broken Musician’ which was wonderful and well worth a read.
Example: Evelyn from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
In this grey, grey world, the thing that you need is an eternal optimist to brighten your day. They are so magical and sweet, you can’t help but fall in love. And their positive thinking can be so inspiring for the story and to the reader. We honestly need them.
Example: Cress from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
I’m a nerd and I love it. We are passionate people who don’t want to hide it but sometimes I can be nervous about showing a passion because ‘what about judgement?’ So nerdy characters really showcase how awesome it is to share and pursue your interests. This is the kind of representation I love so naturally, I love them. Also, kind of similar but not exclusive to each other, are smart and creative characters. These are great because I love how their mind works and seeing what they will come up with next.
Example: Darlington from Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
I actually feel like kindness is one of the most underappreciated traits, but it is one of the best. I always go on about how much I love humour, but kindness might be better because the effects of it are boundless. I want to hug kind characters and never let them go because no one should hurt them. I particularly think they are special when they have gone through so much but still remain kind. That is a special kind of strength.
Example: Frances and Aled from Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
I know this can include many different factors but basically if you are sarcastic and make me laugh, I love you. If you are silly and make me laugh, I love you. If you are clumsy and make me laugh, I love you. If you are witty and make me laugh, I love you. If I find you funny in any way, guess what, I love you.
Example: Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer