Hello lovelies! How are you? Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post about traits I dislike like in characters, I found that one much easier to write. I don’t think that’s because I’m a negative person who enjoys being salty about things. I just find it easier to put my finger on what isn’t working, than what is.
When I don’t like a character, I could write a whole power point presentation about all their flaws. But when I like a character? Or love them, even? That’s when the magic happens. The curtain drops and I have no clue what’s going on behind it. I don’t know why I love them – I just do. The reasons we love anyone or anything in this world are as messy and ineffable as love itself and they don’t always make sense.
Two of my favorite characters of all time are Lorelai Gilmore and Luke Danes. He’s a grumpy guy with a tough exterior and a big heart, she’s an outgoing, confident, fast-talker. Does that mean I like grumpy characters? Outgoing characters? Yes and no? Not really? It’s way more complex than that.
I like characters who feel real to me. Characters who are complex and messy, who have good sides and bad sides, who are flawed, but trying, well-meaning, but occasionally wrong. Characters who are vulnerable, real and human.
That’s not even mentioning how a trait that’s lovable in one characters, because it’s so perfectly balanced by another aspect of their personality, can be insufferable in another. Or how I have a tendency to fall head over heels for female characters who possess the same traits that make me want to drown male characters? I’m nothing if not inconsistent.
So how do I sum all this up in a neat little list of traits? I have no idea. But I’m going to try. Please try to ignore the fact that this rambly intro is probably longer than the post itself, I just have a lot of feelings…
I’m a proud Slytherin, so you know I love a cunning character. I’ve always had a thing for the tricksters, the silver tongued rogues who are always two steps ahead and can lie and scheme their way out of anything. One of my favorite things about His Dark Materials is that the heroine and one of the main antagonists are both female characters whose greatest weapons are their cunning minds. Lyra’s literally known as Lyra Silvertounge because she’s such a good liar.
(On the other hand I love characters like Eddard Stark, who are so stubbornly honorable they’re incapable of deceit. So this list already makes no sense. Cool.)
I’m a fiercely loyal person, so I’m always shocked and outraged when a character betrays someone trust. And I love reading about characters who are deeply loyal to their friends and family. One of the reasons I adore the found family trope, is that it almost always explores the dynamics of a group of characters who might have their issues witch each other – but who are fiercely loyal despite that and would do literally anything to keep each other safe. Like the friend group in The Sky Fell on Splendor, who bicker like at least 5 old married couples, but always have each other’s backs.
Fortune favors the bold and so do I, apparently. It’s just so much more fun to read about characters who say what they want, break the rules and chase their heart’s desires. There’s a reason Vasya, from The Bear and the Nightingale is my favorite character of all time. She’s not afraid to speak her truth or do what she knows is right. Her will bends to no man or god and she defies anyone who tries to make her feel small. She’s as bold as they come and I heart her a lot.
Listen, I’m trash for good dialogue ok?
Why do you think I love Gilmore Girls so much. I live for witty group texts in contemporaries, flirty banter in romance and sarcastic barbs in fantasy novels. I can’t not fall in love with a sassy villain and good comebacks make me swoon. #teamolenna
I’m a classic Slytherin, with a soft spot for Hufflepuffs (someone please recommend me some books with this dynamic) and I always fall for the soft ones. I adore the kind, gentle, pure hearted characters. Soft boys who bake and give long hugs? Grumpy dudes who act tough, but are secretly sweethearts? Cinnamon roll girls who radiate love and good vibes? Sarcastic girls with sharp edges, who will do anything to protect their friends? I love all of them all of the time.
What character traits do you like in fictional characters?