"It stands to reason we're not likely to get very far on a journey to the North, not at this time of the year, with the winter coming on soon and all. And an early winter too, by the look of things. But you mustn't let that make you down-hearted. Very likely, what with enemies, and mountains, and rivers to cross, and losing our way, and next to nothing to eat, and sore feet, we'll hardly notice the weather."
~ Puddleglum, the Marsh-wiggle
EDIT: But don't write Puddleglum off as comic-relief. Underneath his--gloomy cheerfulness, I guess you could call it, he's got a great deal of wise common-sense.
[i]"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."[/i] ~ I Thessalonians 5:16-18[br][br]If a collection of unpronounceable letters and a number doesn't appeal to you, you may call me Randy[br][br]"The use of cliche is only a fault if it is to avoid creativity rather than prompt it." ~ Me
I think Darth Vader made my list because I can now see his whole story, from precocious pod pilot with potential, through his fall into forbidden fraternization and fearful fathering, all the way to his remarkably heroic redemption in Return of the Jedi. =)
Well, the redemption was awesome, but I never much liked young Anakin, and until the point of redemption, there was nothing likeable about Vader either. I would call him an intriguing character despite being unlikeable.
Striking the balance between likeable and believable is tricky, but I think it depends on making sure the character has both strengths and weaknesses. The hero who's too perfect isn't believable, and the one who's too flawed becomes unlikeable -- though you see this more with the "too stupid to live" heroine. I like to think that stereotype is fading fast, but I still see bloggers and reviewers complaining about it.
That brings me to the question, what is this fad with unlikable "to stupid to live" heroines? They drive me crazy because they seem to be in almost every book over the last few years. They almost always have these characteristics; they are know it all's and they are stronger than everyone else even the hero. Don't get me wrong strength is good, but the attitude of females portrayed in most fiction lately is not. A lot of the network movies like Hallmark for instance, have been falling into this too. The characters come off as better than everyone else and didn't have to put any effort into becoming strong or good at something and their attitude doesnt change everyone just bows to their greatness in the end. Ewww.... I like characters who have to work at it.
Please excuse my little rant on stupid heroines. I hope you are right and this stereotype is fading lol.
@ Kessie I've seen some with Christian fiction lately like "When the Smoke Clears", I read about a quarter of a book called the "Redemption" and didn't pick it up again there was also one called "The Merchant's Daughter" which wasn't too bad but the character was a little too perfect. None of these were fantasy or science fiction.
Yeah, the heroine of The Duke's Handmaid is the same way. By the time I was halfway through, I'd stopped buying her as a character because she was so perfect and never made any mistakes. I kept reading out of resignation to see it through. That is a fantasy, though (a sort of dumb-human race and a ruling class of elves).
My art, writing and family blog: [url="http://netraptor.org/blog"]netraptor.org/blog[/url]
Post by Lady Rwebhu Kidh on Jan 23, 2013 7:42:31 GMT -5
I think that what makes a character likable is as varied as what makes a real person likable.... I like all the people I know, and all for different reasons. The same way I like Faramir and Bilbo and Eowyn for different reasons. If you make someone witty, there probably will be a lot of people that will like him, because everyone likes someone who makes them laugh, especially if he has some extra quirk that makes him memorable. But for real, forever likableness...I think the best thing to do is just make them as real and human as possible.
I think the best thing to do is just make them as real and human as possible.
Agreed; the difficulty is so many people are going to have differences in what they see as 'real'. I know of characters that I would call very real and human, that other people have declared too perfect to be realistic. The perfection/realism scale is very tricky. Some people want characters that they can relate to; some want characters they look up to; I think most want a little of both. I myself am a little tired of immature, impetuous young people, who have to learn the hard way to be discreet and responsible over the course of the book. If I come across a young person (read: teenage or very early twenties) who actually listens to the older, wiser counselor invariably present, the book gets instant credit points with me.
Gwledic dy gynna[br]Ny dyfu ny dyfyd.[br]Neb kystal a douyd[br]Ny ganet yn dyd plwyw.[br]Neb kystal a Duw.[br][br](O supreme Ruler; There hath not been; there will not be, One so good as the Lord. There hath not been born in the day of the people[br]Any one equal to God. )[br]from The book of Taliesin
Post by Divides the Waters on Jan 24, 2013 21:38:05 GMT -5
I agree with that, Gwen. I don't think maturity is necessarily being equated with perfection, though. I think you can have a very good, mature character who is still imperfect; i.e., still makes the wrong decisions, has to deal with the consequences thereof, etc.