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Writer’s Block: On Character Preferences

Writer’s Block: On Character Preferences published on 2 Comments on Writer’s Block: On Character Preferences

First of all, that should be “your favorite fictional character” with an “r” goddammit. My favorite fictional literary character is Willa Rahv from Early Disorder by Rebecca Josephs. Nominally about a 15-year-old’s struggle with anorexia, Early Disorder is actually more of a slice of life for a young girl as she tries to find her place in her overbearing, perfectionist family, a fast-paced, overwhelming school and a city that teems with life that she would like to be a part of. Witty, pretentious, oversensitive and insecure, Willa embodies many of the strengths and fallacies common to young teenagers. However, her sarcastic, keen-eyed first-person perspective evinces a deft sense of humor and a maturity that she eventually grows into. I find the theme of coming into one’s own eminently relatable, and I’ve always found Will a sympathetic protagonist over the decades during which I have cherished this book.

I’m also really keen on the eldest princess in A.S. Byatt’s short story “The Story of the Eldest Princess” [available in The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye] because she’s smart and assertive and reflective. She realizes she’s in a skewed fairy tale and forms her own happy ending, which does not involve happy hetero marriage.

In TV or movies, my favorite characters are Jareth the Goblin King from Labyrinth [details at Jareth’s Realm], Frank from The Rocky Horror Picture Show [details at The Frankenstein Place], Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer [details all over this blog] and Dean Winchester from Supernatural [details all over this blog].

In fiction that I have created, my favorite characters are Will and Anneka because they have pink hair and no fashion sense. I also really like Mark because he’s such a  dweeb, Chow  because  he’s  probably  the only wise character around and Viktor because his constant attempts to screw anything that moves are amusing.

In any medium, I dislike whiny characters who do not stand up for themselves. Three particularly egregious examples are Sarah from Labyrinth, Harry Potter from the seven books concerning him and Bella from the Twilight Saga. Make that EVERYONE in the Twilight Saga.

EDIT: BWAH HAHAHAH. I notice that Edward Cullen, abusive personality extraordinaire of the Twilight Saga, appears most frequently as a favorite character, clearly nominated by people without critical intelligence.


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