The most important attribute for any character is multi-faceted behavior. Those who grow and learn, question and falter, are both heroes and failures become the most memorable to me.
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl since January of 2018. Jana writes, “it was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” In that spirit, link up with your list at That Artsy Reader Girl and comment with your list, link, or thoughts below.
10. Unreliable. My real-life friends and family are solid as rocks, but in fiction I prefer a character with skewed perception or less than forth-coming narration. Go on and keep your secrets close, half the fun is in finding them out.
Holden Caufield, Henry DeTamble, Eddie (The Chalk Man)
9. Idealistic. I’m cynical enough as it is. In my reading worlds, give me good old-fashioned starry-eyed dreamers. Of course, their dreams rarely work out, but it’s nice while it lasts.
Luna Lovegood, Jay Gatsby
8. Intuitive. Sharp instincts can be worth their weight in plotting gold; getting a character out of danger or leading them to a clue that unravels the mystery. Can’t underestimate the value of an innate sixth sense.
Hercule Poirot, Kvothe, Melanie (The Girl w/All the Gifts)
7. Angst-ridden. Somewhere between slightly uneasy and full of agony is the sweet spot.
The Raven Boys, The Outsiders, The Harry Potter bunch-the teen years. The more emotional the baggage, the better.
6. Grit. An ability to overcome, and prevail over all hardships thrown his or her way always rocks my socks.
Frodo and Sam, Lisbeth Salander, Peekay, Rukmani, Marie Laure
5. Friend to animals. I’m not talking Snow White here, but few behaviors endear a character to me moreso than animal empathy.
Samwise Gangee, Hagrid, Newt Scamander
4. Knowing their worth. Characters who bend to the will of others are boring. I prefer those who stand up for themselves with a strong backbone and never settle.
Lizzie Bennett is the poster child for possessing this quality.
3. An original or surprising origin story. Not quite a trait, but an essential component of a good character. Some characters seem to spring up fully realized from thin air, like Sherlock Holmes, but a complicated or unpredictable origin gets me invested in a story like nothing else.
Ronan Lynch, Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni), Vasilisa (The Bear and the Nightingale)
2. Cleverness. Wielding a razor-sharp wit and using it to advantage separates the cream from the character crop.
Hermoine Granger, Lizzie Bennett, Wesley (Dread Pirate Roberts)
1. Bravery, not to be confused with fearlessness.
Kvothe, Frodo, Katniss & Peeta, Elwood Curtis
Share your favorite character traits too, I know I’ve forgotten some. I’m taking blogging time off for my annual family observances; however, I’ll be back with spooky autumn reads in a few weeks.