I’ve been analyzing a lot lately what makes a very loveable character, mostly in the heart-throb, swooning kind of way. But other than their charming good looks, and the things an author makes them do that causes crushes, there is also the personality.
My favorite Character in a book thus far.
Pocket, from Christopher Moore’s Fool, is definitely one of my character crushes. If you haven’t read the book, you should, especially if you like dark humor, Shakespeare, and you’re not easily offended by cursing (among other things). Pocket is King Lear’s jester, and he’s determined to restore the Kingdom back to its glory after Lear dismisses Cordelia from his good graces, and divides the Kingdom between his other daughters. Pocket, aside from being hugely comical, is also dark, slightly vengeful, loyal to those who deserve it, and extremely intelligent despite his upbringing. I loves me some Pocket. My other book crush is Erik from Phantom of the Opera. Yes, the book version. I know he’s a little (*cough*a lot *cough*) psychotic, murderous, obsessive, etc., but all he wants is to be loved, and treated like any other human being despite the very terrifying disfigurement of his face. He’s kinda like Wall-e except, you know, evil. But he very obviously has the possibility to change within him.
Characters like those two are very different, and they have very different aspects that get me to say that I adore them. So how does a person mold the personality to make a character loveable? This is where it can get truly sticky, because what one person adores, another abhors when it comes to a single trait. Even stranger, you can just shift the POV that the character is being viewed from and you can make the same person suddenly love a character they despised.
Well, with the difference between the characters I create, and the ones that I love, I have no authority to say what makes a personality (much like how I’m not sure I’m the authority on what makes a 25 year old’s heart flutter). But I do know that, no matter what the setting, it only takes that one thing, that one action that the character’s persona allows to happen, to sweep a reader off their feet. It doesn’t have to be a grand, heroic gesture – it could be as simple as picking up the dishes he broke for the waitress, being the supportive friend despite outsider’s objections, or being the shoulder to cry on when you have no idea why you’re crying in the first place. Any man can do these things, of course, but only ones who have certain personality traits can do it with honest feeling, and make it count.
So, what are you favorite personality traits to either read or write about?