Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Quite a Character

I recently re-read a book I hadn't read in a long while. The story was interesting and well written--except for one thing. The bad guy was comprised of every stereotype possible. I want to read a story where the bad guy is charming, good looking, friendly...and a snake.

For years, the heroines were sexy sylphs. Now they're all curvy 'big' girls. Heroes used to be handsome and incredibly rich. The current style is grubby, gritty laborers or ex-military dudes. We've exchanged one set of stereotypes for another.

Since I was thinking about such things, I paid attention as I worked my way through several more books. One book--a favorite of mine--had minimal description about the characters. The first twenty times I'd read it, I never noticed.

As an exercise in one of my college classes, we were assigned to read a three page selection from one of the 'classic' authors. When we arrived for the next class, there was a pop quiz. Describe the characters in the assigned selection.

The answers varied wildly. Readers imposed their own ideas on the characters, even when they were described in detail!

How closely do you read the story? And how do you decide what the characters are like?



  1. It's all about life experience isn't it? The more you have the less inclined you are to settle reading rubbish.

  2. I think it depends upon the story. I like my characters a little under-described.