Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Characters - How do I love thee?

Lately I've notice more than anything (it pops up a lot in YA fiction) that authors don't feel the need to make me have feelings for their main characters. Now, personally, I see this as a bad thing. I thought the whole point of main characters, especially if they are love interests, was for me to feel for them. This to me has to do with a serious lack of character development.

An author [usually] feels for their characters, whether they feel love or hate for them, they still feel. They are the creators of said character and therefore, to them they are a whole person with feelings and traits that a lot of readers will never see because it isn't pertinent to the story line. That being said, when will some authors learn that this is also [sometimes] their biggest set back?

Set back? Yes!! Set back!

You see, as it's creator, they know the character, but as the reader we do not. The author must write pulling us, pushing us, convincing us to feel and love/hate the character(s) as they do. If I am supposed to think the male lead is a sweet, loving, hothead with a tail, please tell me. Of course, don't come strait out and say it, but come on make me FEEL IT! If you can't do it through a first person point of view, change your tactic. I don't even think authors know that they aren't convincing the reader of who the character really is (insert set back here) because they feel for them so much as the author.

If you haven't noticed, this has become rather frustrating to me as of late. I read and I read and expect one thing and get something else (and not in a good, I need a cold shower, kind of way).

I recently read a book where the main character's love interest was mostly presented in the book through her thoughts. Now, how reliable are thoughts and memories? I'd say not very, but even though in a book where you can make them anything you want, it's still better to have character interaction especially when they are supposedly the main characters. After a 300 page book I was rather P.O.ed to realize it was over and I didn't know much about boy and way too much about girl. The more I continue to ponder this particular topic, the more heated I get.

Why you may ask? Well, it's because it takes time to read a 300 page book (time is important to most people as there are many things to do in life) and I don't like to feel like I wasted that time. However, I cannot control no knowing what is really (really) in the story I'm about to read (which is the point of a new book), so I won't give up. I won't give up reading all books, because even though some characters are poorly underdeveloped, there are those that are so wonderful that I cannot get them out of my head.

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XOXO Jen the Bibliophile

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