1. Inspired writer
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    Inspired writer Member

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    Which attracts the readers the most?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Inspired writer, Feb 4, 2012.

    Do you think the readers are attracted more to the sympathetic good guy who are more heart-warming? Or the antagonistic bad guy who you'd just love to hate?

    I realise characterisation all evolves around plot. But personally the characters are of the upmost importance. Look at the 'Twilight' saga for instance. Do you think if there weren't a character without Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson, the vampire, or lead character to those who aren't familiar with the books) in it? Do you think they'd still be as popular?
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    First, I disagree that characterization all evolves around plot. For me, and for many other writers, characters come first and the plot evolves from what they do.

    Secondly, I'm not sure what the rest of this paragraph means. Are you asking whether the Twilight series would be as popular without Edward Cullen? If so, I don't know - I've never read Twilight. But from what I've gathered from reading what everybody says about Twilight, it's like asking if the Harry Potter series would be as popular without Harry Potter.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Readers are attracted by good writing and repelled by bad writing. Which character is more appealing depends solely on the skill of the writer.
     
  4. jc.
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    jc. Contributing Member

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    I agree with cogito, but I must say for some reason I tend to root for the bad guy--unless they're cruel and inhuman.
     
  5. UrbanBanshee
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    UrbanBanshee Member

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    Often I find my self drawn more towards the bad guy. I find this is often when the antagonist is just more interesting and complex. The "heart-warming" character can get quite boring and tedious to read. They always do the right thing, they fall in love with the predictable love interest, in most situations it isn't a surprise what they'll do, because I've seen them all before. The bad guy though can have all sorts of motivations, and can take you by surprise. Not always of course, but simply the villian is often more interesting.

    When I latch onto a good guy though, I really like them.

    A fun or interesting villian is all good, but if the good guy is the main character I want to be more attracted to them. It all comes down to the characters themselves. In a good story, I like both the bad guy and the hero.
     
  6. Inspired writer
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    Inspired writer Member

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    I agree Minstrel. All very good points. All just comes down to my bad writing. haha.
    But when it comes down to personal preference? Which do you prefer? The good guy? Or the bad guy? As you're mc. Which do you feel brings more animal attraction to the readers? Excuse the cliche.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto cog's comments... there's no single breed of reader and most readers don't have an overall preference, so the question really makes little sense, sorry to say...
     
  8. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's absolutely no fast rule to say what readers are going to be attracted to. It's no secret that the right person with the right connections can get absolute drivel published and readers will buy enough to shoot it to the tops of all the bestseller lists. Sometimes it's the name that attracts readers. Sometimes it's the good writing. Sometimes it's a catchy plot. Readers are so diverse that there's really little hard rules that can apply to all of them. What is seen as "bad writing" by many may be the world's best book to another. And what many find to be "brilliant literature" could be toilet paper to another. (And if only some elite group like your books, it doesn't really matter how good you or they think you are) Some people like trash. So really, just write the best that you can and improve it the best that you can.
     
  9. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've been watching The Boondocks. It's a cartoon. It's hilarious... but it's also incredibly depressing. And it has Samuel L. Jackson voicing a white dude. Which is awesome.
    Anyway, the three main characters are Huey, Riley, and Robert "Granddad" Freeman. Riley's eight and he's awesome the way he is. Granddad is pretty good. But Huey's this little ten year old nihilistic ninja kid. He's the coolest kid ever, and he's amazingly intelligent. I realised when I first watched Season One last year that I loved the show, but that I'm constantly waiting for Huey to redeem himself. I mean, I love the kid, but I'm always waiting for him to turn around and be compassionate and turn some brilliant outlook on life on. But it never happens.

    I still love the show, and I love all the characters, but I'm just constantly waiting on his potential as a human being. Not as a character. He's a full, great character. I'm waiting for his character to grow as a person.

    I think that's what people fall in love with. Their expectations of a character's potential as a human. Look at Earl Grace in Kalifornia. He's an absolutely horrible human being, but he has that kind of sweet side to him in some ways. You know it's there. You know he has that side. You love him because you're waiting for it.

    Characters you love to hate are different. That's a complex feeling, I think. I'm not going to attempt to define it. Uncle Ruckus in The Boondocks is a character you love to hate, but that's just because he's a black guy who hates black people. He's funny, especially since he believes he's white ("I got a case o' the ol' revitiligo. That's the opposite of what Michael Jackson got").

    Actually, the Harry Potter series would be the Neville Longbottom series without Harry Potter, given the duality of their status of both being the Chosen One.
     
  10. agent99
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    agent99 New Member

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    I depends who the reader is, most likely if the reader is a warm hearted person he or she may be interested in reading something positive. A person who thinks positive is interested in reading about someone who has a similar personality traits as themselves. The kind hearted person wants to see the bad guy suffer the consequences, which eventually happens in most endings.

    A person with an antagonostic personality is hostile and thinks negative, most likely this person is attracted to violence.

    On the other hand they say do opposites attract each other.
     
  11. CheddarCheese
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    CheddarCheese Contributing Member

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    I'm pretty sure it depends on how each character is created and developed. I would usually root for the "good" guy, just out of general morality. That's not to say I haven't read books where I thought the "bad" guy was the more interesting character. As a general rule, any "bad" guy who is too cruel or murderous I would end up hating too much to root for. On the other hand, a "good" guy who is too much of a pushover loses my interest very quickly, and receives many eye rolls.

    In my own opinion, I think that's bogus. :p We aren't magnets.
     
  12. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's a myth. I can assure you from sad experience that young, beautiful single women are not in general attracted to old, ugly married men. :(
     
  13. agent99
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    agent99 New Member

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    Correction, I rushed and hit send, since I am usually in an imposition for time to write.

    What I meant is that there is some attraction between warm hearted people and tough people. For instance I am warm hearted and sometimes I feel I need to be street savvy. That is why I get interested and attracted to a tough person's characteristics. Tough people like Bruce Willis type, not a filthy and immoral person type.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    unless the latter happen to be extremely well-heeled and generous to a fault!
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Jack Nicholson; Larry King.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    oh, yeah!
     
  17. Dragon Boy
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    Dragon Boy Member

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    I haven't read Twilight, but if you remove the main character of any story it will lose it's sense and most likely someone else would have to take the mantle.

    As for your question about morality, I don't mind if they are good or evil, but I will be more inclined to like a character if I can relate to them in some way.
     

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