Friday, December 9, 2011

FFFT: Characters and Contests

I'm fascinated by the female characters that populate and usually protagonize (new verb?) young adult literature. I usually mention if I like/dislike a character in my reviews and why, and often, the more I like a main character, the more I like a book.

An editor I admire created this list of positive character traits (find them at her blog here). I agree with all of them and more.
Lesson for Writers:  Cheryl’s Fourteen Qualities of Attractive Characters***:
  1. Newness (someone I haven’t seen before)
  2. Viewpoint (the POV character)
  3. Desire (the character wants something)
  4. Expertise
  5. Friends (the character likes or is liked by people the reader likes))
  6. Enemies (the character is disliked by people the reader dislikes, so we like the character -- Harry Potter being hated by the Dursleys is the classic example)
  7. Action (the character does something)
  8. Jeopardy (being in it)
  9. Kindness
  10. Positivity (a good attitude in general)
  11. Humor/Wit
  12. Enthusiasm (passion for one specific thing)
  13. Complication (meaning that while they have at least one likeable element, as per #9-12 generally, they do experience darker & deeper emotions)
  14. Mystery (the character is keeping secrets, even from the reader)
Speaking of Cheryl's blog, she's running a contest right now for some of her latest books. What's that? You missed the link above? Here you go! A couple of her books are on sale right now as ebooks. Have I told you I'm joining the tech-savvy world and getting an e-reader for Christmas? Might have to partake of this sale myself!

Back to characters we love. Check out this fun Tournament of Heroines from the YA Sisterhood, a fellow YA blog. 

But what about those characters you love to hate? Here's an interesting article about Bella from Twilight that argues she's not the weak, passive character you see upon first glance.  

Okay, that's enough reading for your Friday. Enjoy the weekend!

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