Happy Top Ten Tuesday!
I’ve seen this on a lot of the blogs I follow and thought I’d jump in and give it a try! I love lists so this is right up my alley.
This week’s Top Ten is Character Traits I love, submitted by Hannah @ Books Life and Other Oddities.
Character Traits I Love
- Snark, Sass, and Sarcasm
The obvious reason for my love of this holy trinity is that I am all of the above. Magnus Bane is the first character that I can remember reading that really embodies these three traits, and since then I’ve fallen for almost every character with attitude I’ve come across.
There’s nothing I hate more than when stupid characters do stupid things. Sentences like “I know I shouldn’t do this… but imma do it anyway! #yolo” drive me bananas. I like my characters to be smart, trusting both their head and their heart. Shoutout to Jenn Bennett for writing characters like this! (Check out my reviews to see what I mean: The Lady Rogue, Serious Moonlight, and Starry Eyes)
I read a lot of fantasy which means a lot of the characters are Tough and Badass, but a character needs more than just the hard traits to be really compelling and relatable. Especially in fantasy books, because how relatable is slaying dragons and storming the castle? Sage from The Traitor’s Circle Trilogy is like this. I definitely admire her for being tough and intelligent but love that she is kind to friends and strangers alike.
It goes without saying that I love a charismatic character, especially when they’re the love interest, especially when this love interest is Tall Dark and Handsome. Characters who are overtly charismatic always make me question their loyalties and wonder if they are truly who they say they are. This always makes for a fun read and adds suspense regardless of what genre I’m reading.
Sidenote: Any fans of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina here?? This is exactly how I felt about Nick Scratch when he was first introduced.
I need characters who are OK being silly and playful, especially when I’m reading a high-stakes fantasy or dystopia book. I definitely do not mean childish characters (I’m looking at you, Stay Sweet), but characters who can turn not-great situations into something more tolerable through humor. I think much of 10 Blind Dates embodies this: our main character goes on some pretty cringey dates but still can laugh about them with her family.
I might be one of the few readers who actually likes stubborn characters. It’s difficult to write a character as stubborn without crossing over into the realm of petulant or too stubborn (see #2), but when it’s done right I find a stubborn character so strong, relatable, and real. It can show that they believe in themselves, their faith, their family, etc. too much to give it up too easily, and I really like that. Plus, it can be really fun to see how the opposing character reacts to such stubbornness, especially as someone who is really stubborn herself 😉
Some of this relates to what I said about Sage in #5, but characters who are open to new ideas, experiences, and viewpoints are very powerful. Not only do they bring the reader along for the ride, but they drive the plot along in ways that being close-minded just can’t. Characters too involved in what they think is right often annoy me and veer too much into that poorly-written stubborn category I mentioned above.
Authenticity is so important when writing characters who feel real! I recently read Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson (review to come) and her characters were so authentic to their time and place. Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine were so authentic to their neighborhood and themselves and it really made them shine.
Characters, especially female characters, who are really independent are very admirable. I’ve always thought of myself as an independent person, so maybe it’s because I find them relatable, but these characters always know how to drive a story forward. These characters’ values are that much more apparent and important; when we see them falling for a love interest or leaning on another character for support it just makes that moment and that character so much more important.
I can’t stand lazy characters!! It’s so boring to read about the character wishing things were different, wanting someone to save them, or not wanting to accept any responsibility (not gonna lie, I have to look at Beyond the Black Door for this). A character who is motivated to create their own future is someone I can admire and have fun reading about. I understand that, especially in fantasy books, some situations can be terrifying to put yourself into, so some wallfing and wishing is fine. But I don’t want to read on and on and on about a character being whiny.
So there it is, my first Top Ten Tuesday post! How do y’all think I did?
This was definitely harder than I thought it would be, so we’ll see how the next couple go!