Monday, April 5, 2010

Falling In Love With Characters

Over the many years that I've been reading, I find that I'm often falling in love with a bunch of characters.  As a young girl, I enjoyed reading about Stan and Jan Berenstain's grizzly creations, the Berenstain Bears.  I loved Mama, Papa, Sister, and Brother as though they were practically an extension of my real family.

As I grew older, I admit that I started getting a little more girly with my thoughts.  When I read, and watched the movie, Anne of Green Gables, I developed a crush on Gilbert Blythe.  Throughout many mysteries, I was often torn between brother detectives Frank and Joe Hardy.  Today, I fully understand Bella's Jacob vs Edward dilemma, except that I love Jacob the best.  

I grew up identifying with and wanting to be like strong female characters.  My admiration for Anne Shirley, Nancy Drew, Jo March, Elizabeth Wakefield, Caddie Woodlawn, and many others has not faded to this day.  I have added other characters to the list since becoming an adult, such as Princess Mia Thermopolis, Kiki Lowenstein, and Alice Cullen to name a few.

Stories are nothing without the literary heroes and villians portrayed within the words.  As a writer, I want to create a character that is remembered and loved.  Feeling connected to those carrying a story is a factor that can make or break your reader's interest.  With this in mind, I'm asking myself a very important question.  Am I falling in love with the characters in my WIP?  Would others fall in love with my characters?

What are some of your favorite characters (as a child & today)?  If you are a writer, do you ask yourself those same questions as you write?  If you are not a writer (then of course you must be a reader), what makes you fall in love with the characters of your favorite stories?


My Reading Challenge Update:
Blackout BINGO (entire sheet) Completed:  3/16/10
Automatic Prize Received With 2nd Bingo:  Window Scraper with library logo
Prizes Won:  $20 Meijer Gift Card
Total Books Read: 16/16
Challenge Ended:  March 31, 2010

Books Read (in no special order):
The Gift by Cecelia Ahern
Unconventional by J.J. Hebert
Austenland: A Novel by Shannon Hale
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
The Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
Silver Bells by Debbie Macomber
Vision In White by Nora Roberts
Real Life & Liars by Kristina Riggle
It's All About Him: Finding The Love Of My Life by Denise Jackson
Scrap Everything by Lesley Gould
Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
Paper, Scissors, Death: A Kiki Lowenstein Scrap-N-Craft Mystery by Joanna Campbell Slan
Cut, Crop, & Die: A Kiki Lowenstein Scrap-N-Craft Mystery by Joanna Campbell Slan
Christmas With Anne by L.M. Montgomery
Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah
Everything I Needed To Know About Being A Girl I Learned From Judy Blume by Jennifer O'Connell (& various authors)

Favorite Book(s) Read & Other Comments:  I discovered a new book series by Joanna Campbell Slan!  I wasn't able to put either book down without constantly thinking about whodunit!  I'm looking forward to May when the 3rd book in the series is released.  Go check out Paper, Scissors, Death  and Cut, Crop, & Die!

I really enjoy this Winter reading challenge.  Reading 16 books in the amount of time given was a great goal, but adding in the large number of new to me authors added to it.  All but 1 of the writers were new to me this year and gave me the opportunity to open myself up to great stories.


Post #96 in the Count Up to 100!


  1. My favorite characters were Mary from the Secret Garden, Claudia from the Babysitters Club and I so love Ginny Weasly!!! LOL

  2. Aren't you sweet, Melinda Marie. A review just in today says that Photo, Snap, Shot (the 3rd book in the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series) has "characters you will love."

    My son owned every one of the Berenstain Bears books. In fact, I have packed them away for his kids. I loved Caddie Woodlawn, a name I hadn't thought of in years.

    My fave? Jane Eyre. Her indomitable spirit, her desire to "be someone" even though she was pale and plain and poor really spoke to me.

  3. I loved the Betsy books and animal MC's as a kid. Today, I adore Meggie and Mo from Inkheart and Kendra from Fablehaven. :-)

  4. MB- The Secret Garden!!! I loved that book! Great characters! :)

    Shannon- More wonderful characters!

    Joanna- I must say that I never expected to open blogger and find a comment from you! You made my day and I'm honored by your comment! :) To say I'm anxious to read "Photo, Snap, Shot" is an understatement. lol Thanks for such great books. I will keep reading and suggesting them to all of my friends!

    I bet your son's children will love those books in the future. I wish I had saved mine for my own boys.

    The spirit of characters like Jane Eyre are so inspiring!

  5. If I knew the answer to that question... how to write a character that others fall in love with... I'd be a millionaire. That is the tricky part.

    As for characters I have fallen in love with... Jacob for sure! And Mr. Darcy. What about the main guy in The Hero and the Crown? Can't remember his name, but I remember him!

  6. Is that The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley? I looked it up because I've never read it. It sounds like a good story.