December 15, 2013

Sunday Spiel: Characters

Hey guys! Today I'd like to talk about something that is extremely important to me (more important, clearly, than studying, which is what I should probably be doing at this very moment): characters.

Before I get into this, I'd just like to say these are my opinions. I am in no way saying that you should have these opinions or that mine are correct. This is simply a post open to discussion, and you're free to share your opinions as well. :) I love hearing them!

Characters, for me, are the basis of a story. Not plot, not the action, not even the writing. The characters have to be phenomenal. They have to be in depth, and they have to feel real. They need to make me cry and laugh just like the people I know in real life. And if they don't do that, if they feel flat and boring and only the plot is in depth and excellent, then I won't like the book as much as others would. The characters are half the battle for me.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson is a good example. There were such great characters in this book (I talked about them in my review) and I loved reading about them. I was barely even aware I was reading a story. It felt like something real, like a true story of someone I knew. And those are the kinds of books I like to read. I don't want to know I'm reading a story - I want to feel as if I'm living it.

That said, the other elements have to be a part of the story as well. Plot and the quality of the writing shouldn't be set aside to focus on characters, as much as they matter. The plot has to have a good pace and the writing has to be at least somewhat good. It's just that personally the characters matter the most for me. I'm curious to see if it matters to others as much as it matters to me.

Sorry the post is a bit short today! I have exams to study for, it this post will just be a quick read. :)

What do you look for in a story? How much do characters matter to you?


  1. Oh, I tooootally agree with this! For me, characters make up about 80% of the awesome of a book. I get bored if I'm reading something that I don't connect to. Plot and writing are a bonus. ;) Haha! No, actually, writing is a big deal for me, but you rarely find a book with exceptional writing and bad characters. I love being sucked into a story so it feels like I'M in it. Best feeling ever.

    1. Same here! The writing has to be good, but the characters generally go along with it.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! It means a lot. :)

  2. Characters are probably the thing I find most important while reading, too. But "well-written" is a close second. I love it when characters make me feel things like people would in real life, and I love being able to relate to characters. But I also really like it when characters are (purposefully) unlikable. Diversity in type of character is important to me, and I like it a lot when characters have some personality quirks that aren't necessarily "my thing," but are still realistic. I'm trying to think of a good example...Like Evie in The Diviners. She's kind of annoying and immature, but she's very well-written and authentic, so I LOVED her.

    1. I completely agree. The writing matters a lot, but the characters are important as well. I didn't even think about diversity or quirks, but now that you mentioned it I wish I had!

      I haven't yet read The Diviners but I've heard a lot about it.

      Thank you for the thoughtful comment!