Characteristics I Love in Characters

Hey everyone!!

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.

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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. 

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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.
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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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THE OUTCAST.

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

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 HONEST.

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

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CALMLY CALM.

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

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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

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LIAR LIAR.

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

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FAMOUS.

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

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OPTIMISTIC.

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

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NERD/SMART/CREATIVE.

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

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KIND.

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

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FUNNY.

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

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The end.


What characteristics do you like? Who are you favourite characters?
Have you got any recommendations based off the characters I like?

48 thoughts on “Characteristics I Love in Characters

  1. i love this idea of a post! i love thinking about similar traits that can be either found on the characters i read and love or the characters i write (or think about writing, lol).
    i was impressed by the “exasperated” character. i’d never noticed that as a trait, but after you explained, i could actually think of more than a few examples of this (baz from carry on, i think? and also bellamy from the 100, during s1 at least) and i think i’m more fond of this trait than i expected!
    i relate a lot to the “people watcher”. one of my favorite things is people watching and i wish i had more times and opportunities to do this on a regular basis! i love doing it especially when i’m traveling; i think observing the people says a lot more about a place than just looking around!
    when it comes to the “outcast” character, i always struggle with it a little bit. on one hand, i have some characters who fit this trope whom i love, including darius of course, and also jonathan from stranger things. but at the same time, i feel like more often than not this trope becomes a code for “special snowflake, who’s not like “other girls” and i haaaate that a lot. i think this character has to be written really well, otherwise it doesn’t work at all for me.
    the honest trait is also really admirable, especially when combined with the “oblivious to society” one. i think that’s why i love the movie the space between us so much! the main character, gardner, hasn’t really interacted with many people his age before, so he’s very awkward, but also very honest, because he doesn’t understand the idea of “putting a front” or “playing games” or something, hahah.
    thank you soooo much for the shoutout for my post, btw! loved reading this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay thank you so much Lais!! ❤ I love thinking and talking about characters too, and yep I definitely do more thinking about writing than writing!! haha!!
      It was a hard trait to name as it was more than the one word but I'm glad you got my point and I'm glad you like this trait as well, yess Baz would fit in there I think, especially how he acts but that fits him pretty well. And yess S1 Bellamy for sure!!
      I do love people watching so much too and it would be fun to be able to do it more!! When travelling it is always interesting as the people do tell you a lot and that is why I love it in books!!
      Actually that is a really good point about the outcast character because I do hate the special snowflake as well and 'not like other girls' is one of the worse phrases ever!! I definitely agree that it needs to be well written and captures the lonely feelings and more around these characters!!
      I love honest characters and honest people in real life!! And it definitely goes well with the oblivious to society one. Ohh.. I will have to check out that movie ASAP them because I love awkward and honest characters so much!! Thank you for that!!
      Of course, I think you captured that characteristic so well and I had to include it!! Thank you so much for reading and commenting! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh I loved learning about your favourite character traits and seeing all of the incredible artwork that you included!! They’re all incredible. I want to list favourites but it would basically be all of them 😂

    I completely agree that characters who are honest are interesting but liars are too for different reasons. You never know what to expect with liars so they’re exciting but honest people can be so lovely. Although not necessarily always as sometimes it comes across rather blunt and rude 😂

    Yes!!! Give me all the famous characters. Fame is incredibly interesting to read about. And funny character are just incredible. Plus they can be humourous in so many different ways.

    Aww yes optimists can be the best. Sometimes in books when everything goes wrong you need somebody around to see the bright side. And keep the spark of hope alive, otherwise how would the other characters keep going?

    People watchers and outcasts are fantastic too. You get so many observations from them and again they can work in so many different ways. And an outcast generally gives you someone to root for too. Although not always I guess.

    Other traits that I love are sarcastic/snarky characters. They can be hilarious. Ooh and confident individuals. Also charming people – whether they’re genuinely nice and charming or manipulative (which is definitely another interesting type of character to read about) something about charming characters makes them hard to resist. I love strong, fierce female characters who don’t let anything get in their way too though. I think some of them are probably my all time favourites.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay I’m glad and I know the art is all so stunning. All the artists are incredibly talented 😍😍 I know I would have a trouble picking a favourite too!!

      Yes honest and liars are interesting in different ways but I love them both. Liars really add something to plot and they are usually really clever. Honest can be lovely like you said or blunt. I love them both but again in different ways 😂

      Fame is soooo interesting. I love it !! Funny characters are so easy to fall in love with, I like anyone who can make me laugh. And there are a lot of different ways to be funny !!

      Optimists are so perfect especially in a dark book or one with a lot of pain/mistakes. They balance it out and keep everything going I agree !!

      Yesss all the things they see really add to the books and there are a lot of things you can do with the characters. Most the time outcasts are someone you can get behind !! 😍

      Sarcasm is always the best. Confident and charming characters are charismatic, I definitely love them !! (It can be good or bad but both interesting I agree)
      They are really powerful characters and I do love them !! 😍 definitely, when I hear a book has these I’m so excited to pick it up !!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They are 😍😍 it must be amazing to have a talent like that.

        Yeah they can definitely make for a very unpredictable plot!! But all of them can be interesting in a variety of ways.

        Have you read many books about it? And yes they can be funny in so many different ways which is incredible. I will admit that I personally find funny characters hard to write though 😂

        And they give you a bit of relief from the darkness at times too.

        Yeah they generally are which is wonderful 😍

        Sarcasm is another that I think is hard to write 😅 I do so love it though.
        Yes me too!! They’re such good selling points.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I know !! I’m glad they decide to share it with us !!
          Yessss I just love them !! So interesting !!
          The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, I Was Born For This and Daisy Jones are the main ones I’ve read which I all enjoyed !! Have you???
          They are hard to write and something they can come of as cheesy which few people find funny so that never works ahah !!
          yess exactly !
          Sarcasm can be hard but worth it in the end !!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes me too.
            Ooh they’re all on my TBR. I loved Guitar Girl when I was younger but my mind’s gone blank for others now. I do have Follow Me Back on my Kindle to read though which sounds pretty interesting.
            Yeah I agree. And I’d just panic about it coming off that way 😂
            And yeah I agree, gotta love sarcasm 😅

            Liked by 1 person

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