Thursday, February 10, 2011

An Insight to Scott - What Type of Characters Do I Like?

You have all heard my talk time and time again about my dislike of characters with baggage. I'm talking about those people that have more problems than any human can deal with and then, you as an author, decide to pile on a complicated romance with someone who is equally loaded down with baggage. Instead of focusing on this element, I thought I would give you an insight into the characters that I really do like.

First of all, the characters have to be real. No, this doesn't mean that the story is based on real living people, but that the characters are people that I might see at the grocery store or on the street somewhere. Too often, I see stories with characters that are so fictional, that it becomes difficult for me as a reader to really buy into them. The best analogy I can come up with is trying to relate to someone like Queen Elizebeth or someone filthy rich like Bill Gates. Their life is simply something that is a bit incomprehensible to the everyday person.

Secondly, I love characters that might have flaws, but inside they are good people. The hero in a Regency may be a rake, but inside we can see he is a mama's boy. It is this reason that I frequently reject stories that have characters doing things that socially, people would find unethical. This is my adultry example I have mentioned here before. I don't care how bad the relationship might be, if the "good' character goes out and does something unethical, I have a hard time wanting to side with them.

Thirdly, I love characters that scream personality. Again, this is not a cartoon character personality, but someone that you would really want to hang out with. Their dialogue is honest and true, and their words really do suck you in. You want to listen to them.

Now, I will have to say, that much of this stems from the plot choice you put your characters in. Write a "manufactured" or "unreal" story and tyhe characters will likely follow.



  1. I wish there were more posts like this! Articles about what not to do are a life saver, but this stokes the fires of inspiration. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for this "good sense" post. I have a difficult time with stories that rush "love." To meet a person and be deeply in love on page three, and in bed on page four, then an argument on page six that leaves them wondering what they ever saw in each other. This feels more like "in lust" between two silly people.
    I wonder if writers do that because of the "first five pages" thing.
    My WIP is on chapter four, the main characters met on page eight, accidently, all this time he has been haunted by the memory of her face. They meet officially, early on in chapter five.
    I can't rush "real love!"

  3. I get what you're saying, but although I can't stand the excesive drama, I just can't seem to completely enjoy a character that isn't a little weird. I guess it's because I write paranormal, can't bring two people together without giving somebody a power, a horn, or a perpetual sex drive. We all have our preferences, but I do appreciate a deeper look into your mind. Thanks.

  4. This is an excellent post. Your preferences are precise enough to save folks a bit of time.