Musings reading writing

An Abundance of Characters

Characters! I love characters. In fact, I love them so much my favorite stories are the ones where the plot is actually the characters themselves.

As a reader I need to connect at some level with the characters or I just end up hating the book no matter how riveting the story might be. Memorable characters for me span  many genres. Markus Zusak broke my heart with the amazing characters he created in The Book Thief. So did Khaled Hosseini in A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Kate Morton has a knack to wow me with her characters and do I even have to mention J.K. Rowlings and my beloved Harry Potter? One of my new favorite romance writers, Samatha Harris, has my reader’s devotion because her characters, Alex and Drew, are so likable and well-developed I feel I know them personally. And who does not like Prince Po in Kristin Cashore’s Graceling or Mare in Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen?  Who could forget the  great young characters in any of John Green‘s books? Too many to mention…

I’m the same way with TV shows and movies. Action does not attract me at all. Give me a good British drama or comedy where the focus is on the characters and I am a happy camper. Of course, Joss Whedon is like my hero when it comes to creating memorable TV characters. To this day, Buffy the Vampire Slayer remains my all-time favorite show. His short lived Firefly comes right behind it. For that same reason, I am a sucker for Masterpiece Theater on PBS. Grantchester and Call the Midwives have currently my undivided attention.

Maybe that’s why Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters are my favorite writers of all times. They wrote about the people, their way of thinking, their heartaches and their desires. My biggest wish as a writer is to be able to create characters that will hold the same pull so many have had on me.

What do you like the best in a story? Who are some of your favorite characters of all times?

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