1. ToBeInspired

    ToBeInspired Senior Member

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    Your Favorite Type of Character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by ToBeInspired, Dec 29, 2016.

    I'm sure this has been done a million times, but there's always new inputs thrown into the mix.

    So, what do you prefer in a character? Do you expect different things from a main or supporting character? Strength of will, conviction, sense of morality, ruthlessness, quick decision-making, or something else? Maybe you look for something less tangible as in how the character elicits feeling from you as the reader (or writer).

    Does the type of story affect what you look for? A romantic novel may have a strong, independent man ruggedly braving the elements. Yet it may just as well have a mysterious, sensitive man living in luxury.

    Does age affect it? Does race? Sex? If it was something completely alien to what you're familiar with would you allow more leeway? Are you uncomfortable with devianting from what you're used to?

    I think hearing thoughts on this could help people with character development.
     
  2. ddavidv

    ddavidv Senior Member

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    Intelligence, self-awareness but also a sense that they are not as good as other people...only to prove themselves wrong when challenged.
    I like characters to grow emotionally throughout a book or series.
    A wry sense of humor in small doses helps.
    Unafraid to speak his or her mind which can often get them in trouble.
    Possibly most important they make mistakes in a truly human fashion, realize it and learn from it.
     
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  3. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I'm a big fan of the unreliable narrator. I also really like damaged characters.
     
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  4. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    This is subjective and useless, but my favorite types are ones I can relate to because I rarely find those. I was watching Mr. Robot earlier so Elliot comes to mind - he's a rather odd, atypical protag but one I appreciate a lot.

    All I really look for in a character is realism. I love genre fiction but I want to be able to feel like this character, as a person, psychologically, could actually exist in the real world. They need to make sense - not as in be rational at all times, but run on a consistent internal logic. Other qualities don't matter, as long as they all fit together.
     
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  5. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Keep writing. Contributor

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    Red shirts. I can't help but have some hope they survive, even when I know they're doomed.
     
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  6. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    I am not going to lie, the 'Loveable Ass' is mine. :p You know what I mean.
    Also like the dry/dark humored tough type, that are actually big teddy bears.

    But really as long as they are 'realistic' and relateable any type of character can be fun to read.
     
  7. ShannonH

    ShannonH Member Supporter

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    The 'Wedge' type character, easily.

    Named after the character of Wedge Antilles from the original Star Wars trilogy and refers to a secondary character who is capable and does more than simply exist to be killed off.

    Wedge saves the hero's life in the first movie and survives the final battle despite being in Vader's crosshairs. In the second movie the hero gets shot down, Wedge doesn't and manages to bring down a walker. In ROTJ , he is one of the leaders for the second death star attack and helps destroy it.
     
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  8. Kaya S

    Kaya S New Member

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    I like smart, witty, strong, determined characters who aren't afraid to laugh at themselves or their genre (especially in romance novels).

    I also really enjoy dynamic and tension within characters, there is really nothing better than two characters that hate each other with a passion and are not afraid to just rip into each other. Basically, I'm pretty sure I've never gotten over Beatrice and Benedict from 'Much Ado About Nothing'.
     
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  9. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributor Contributor

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    In books and in movies, my favorite kind of character is the scared, selfish and spineless one. They don't need to be antagonizing in any way; just human and cowardice; afraid of consequence. I also realized they are also hard to come by.

    Good examples would be pliable in Pilgrim's Progress, Gregory in The Walking Dead comic book, Wormwood in Screwtape Letters etc. in movies there are much more characters like that though (that stupid old man in Red State).
     
  10. jjwiggin

    jjwiggin Member

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    My favorite book character of all time is Bean, although I also like Richard Mayhew and all the unlikely heroes. Bean was just adorably strange.
     
  11. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    My favorites are characters who remind me of myself. I like characters that grow during the book. I dislike characters who have gained nothing but another story by the end. I also tend to enjoy hyper intelligent but awkward characters: Sheldon, Bones, Spock, Data. The smooth talkers like Bond don't really interest me much, though the story does. I also like characters who have horrible vices: Holmes and cocaine, House and vicadin.

    I also love heros who have their heroics thrust upon them. Chief Brody is one of my favorite all time characters. A heavy drinking police chief in a mafia run but crime-free tourist town whose wife is cheating on him? He hates the water but has to chase down a killer shark? Yes, please.
     
  12. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributor Contributor

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    Who's Bean?
     
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  13. Arcadeus

    Arcadeus Senior Member

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    I like characters with a level of insanity that they learn to deal with. I loved the Mad Merlin book by J. Robert King when I was younger. (Even if the book is not well reviewed.)
     
  14. xanadu

    xanadu Contributor Contributor

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    I'd say, in the simplest terms, my favorite characters are the sarcastic smart-ass female characters and the male (or sometimes female) characters they choose to pick on.

    I tend to favor the Only Sane Man type as well.
     
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  15. Fernando.C

    Fernando.C Contributor Contributor

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    I love characters that are morally ambiguous, those who generally dwell in the grey areas of ethics. the moral conflicts - internal and otherwise - and struggles are parts of the reason I love these type of characters. The other reason is that this sorts of character tend to generally be more unpredictable, since they are capable of both noble deeds and terrible acts.

    Little Finger and Varys from Game of Thrones/ A Song of Ice and Fire are two of my all time favorite characters, and they're great examples of this.
     
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  16. MusingWordsmith

    MusingWordsmith Shenanigan Master Contributor

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    I like characters that grow and change to become better people. Personality types, if it's done well I can enjoy basically any of them. Immature characters I can't stand though, just, urgh grow up already!
     
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  17. Seraph751

    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole... Contributor

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    Borderline dastardly and cunning, with just enough qualities to keep him/her from being a complete jerk.
     
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  18. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    I tend to look at how well pairs of characters get along despite their differences – and how poorly they get along despite their similarities – more than at any one character.

    Rupert Giles was cool on his own as the guy trying to over-compensate for his rebellious youth by playing the stuck-up by-the-book rules guy, but seeing him forced to deal with the unapologetic wild child Buffy Summers was what really sold it for me.
     
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  19. jjwiggin

    jjwiggin Member

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    Bean is Julian Delphiki - a character from Ender's Game, but he is just a secondary character there. Ender's Shadow was written from his POV - and it is amazing! He's the best character in the books.
     
  20. jjwiggin

    jjwiggin Member

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    Movie characters are different cause I think it would depend on the movie. For example, in the Martian, I like Kapoor and Teddy - I love the way they butt-heads, but actually want the same thing. It's just that one has his hands and feet tied by bureaucracy and the other by moral obligation.
     
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  21. SilverLady

    SilverLady New Member

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    Personally, I find myself drawn to characters who are very complex in the department of "good" and "evil". The anti-hero, in my opinion, is vastly more interesting and dynamic than a protagonist or hero/heroine.
    A character with fundamental flaws, but still is relatable is my ideal character.
     
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  22. Lonely Shadow

    Lonely Shadow Member

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    I love gay characters and ones with mental health issues.
     
  23. RDD1977

    RDD1977 New Member

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    I actually like this type of question, and it's one I've never been asked, or thought about. I actually have two types of characters that are my favorite. The flawed every day type person, who ends up losing, and taking a beating. Eventually they end up winning, but they certainly take a pounding in the process. A type of character who is in a grey area morally, and who doesn't always make the right choice, and screws up. Characters like Han Solo, Ellen Ripley, wolverine, and people like that. Those kind of characters are pretty fun to write.

    I also like characters who are all powerful, and have a incorruptible moral code. Like Superman, and Silver Surfer. I find those types of characters fun sometimes too.
     
  24. PilotMobius

    PilotMobius Active Member

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    I like anti-villain characters who are good for all the wrong reasons - for example, saving a person from being lynched because it could potentially earn the character money. They're unfazed by ethical concerns and could turn on a dime. They learn all the wrong lessons and despite being absolute jerks, are completely in the right most of the time.
     
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  25. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    I feel the character that adds stress to the situation is a requirement, but I don't necessarily like them.
    I know "that guy" is the hardest to create. The one who is suppose to help the protagonist but does more damage the the antagonist. The first one that comes to mind is the doctor on Lost in Space.
     

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