One of the highest compliments I get talking to readers of The Weird Sisters is when they say something like, “The characters were so real!” or “Character X is just like me!” (though usually they use the name of the character and don’t call them Character X).
I love that, and I love “the shock of recognition” when I see a character that’s so very real, or so like me – it makes me trust and care about the story that much more. And that goes for fiction and non-fiction.
But what about wonderful characters who don’t seem real, or aren’t like us?
Take Scarlett O’Hara, for example. She is a capital-G, capital-C Great Character. She’s got loads of personality, rules every scene she’s in, and you’ll desperately want to know what happens to her at every page turn.
But she’s not, to be truthful, a very realistic character, and if she is realistic – well….and I say this as a great fan of Gone With the Wind…she’s kind of a horrible person.
And I love her anyway.
Can you think of other characters – real or fictional – in books, movies, or television that you both love and hate at the same time?