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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Likeable Characters (And creepy book gifs)

So often I hear people talking about books, and occasionally I’ll hear someone say they didn’t like the book because they just didn’t like the main character. They just didn’t seem like someone I’d like to spend the afternoon with.

Oh, no? You didn’t like them? The main character wasn’t someone you’d stay up with at night and tell your secrets to? You didn’t want to braid your hair with them? You don’t think they’d make a good wing-man?

Have you read GONE GIRL? That girl isn’t someone I’d want to see on the street in the middle of the day if I were surrounded by a team of Army Rangers and attack dogs. I pretty much hated every part of her. But I couldn’t look away while I was reading it. I was utterly captivated.

I read a great blog post on this very subject a few days ago and I’d like to direct you to it if I may. It’s written by uber-awesome literary agent Lauren Abramo at DGLM. Please check it out!

So what do you think? Do you prefer likeable characters, or do you love to hate the characters you read about?


JeffO said...

It's all in the execution. There are books (and movies and TV shows) where I have not liked the main character, but can empathize with them, and the story is so compelling that I don't care. I think these are cases where the character is supposed to be that way. It's when an author creates a character that you're supposed to like and fails that there's a problem.

By the way, I've only seen that image as a still before and I found it creepy then. This is even worse.

Steven W said...

Hi, JeffO! I agree. I think it's when a writer just isn't true to that character. If they're not likeable, fine, but please don't make everyone and their dog love them in the book. Make them irritating to SOMEONE!

And yes, that pic has always creeped me out, too. When I saw it as a gif I was doubly creeped :)

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