It happens all the time. You start reading a book, or watching a movie or such and you find a connection with a character. It’s funny, because after a while, they can become just so real to you.
But when you think about it, they’re just figments of something Else’s imagination. But what is it that makes us love these fake people so much?
For me, it comes when a character just seems real. I know this sounds like well, yeah. DUH. But let me explain.
The character isn’t perfect. They aren’t a mary sue who can do no wrong and always land in a basket of roses. Maybe they’re lazy, or stubborn, or have angry issues. It’s hard to like someone who always does the right thing. When a character is more like us, more human, it’s a lot easier to like them. Don’t be afraid to let your character mess up and fail sometimes.
Strengths is another reason to like a character. They’re what we wish to be. Maybe they’re brave enough to stand up to evil, maybe they went out and got that job or skill set we always wanted. It’s inspiring to us to see another person work on the dreams we have tucked away.
I also love when characters have unique quirks. I have a character who eats all the time. She loves it! Her favorite food is turkey and she would eat turkey all day. A running joke I have with her is she would eat 6 meals a day if she could. Quirks like this make her feel memorable.
I personally always love an underdog, someone who isn’t destined to become a hero. The kind of person who just has everything thrown in their lap and we watch them struggle to deal with it all. This to me seems a lot more realistic then the person who was raised from birth to be a fantastic hero and warrior.
The cherry on top for me, of course is watching someone learn lessons. It’s great when you can look at early on and then at the end. You can see how they changed, where they’re arc started and where it ended. Character growth is key and really something which makes me like a character.
So that’s what makes me fall in love with a character. It’s also something I try to use in my own characters, because I have a feeling if I love them, then hopefully someone else will as well.
What makes you love a character?