What Makes You Like a Character? (Let’s Talk Bookish)

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Prompts: Are there any physical qualities you look for in a character? What personalities tend to draw you to characters? Are there any archetypes you prefer, are you always falling for the villain? What makes you like characters?

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This was supposed to go up Oct. 29, but I, uh, forgot to hit the “schedule” button, so here we are. 😉

Physical Qualities

I am NOT a visual person when I read. Apparently there are a lot of people who practically see the action of the book rolling by like a movie when they read? I can hardly imagine that. I barely envision what anyone or anything looks like, and the truth is that I rarely remember what a character’s physical qualities are unless they somehow become plot relevant or are mentioned several times throughout the book.

Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables? I have an excellent visual because Anne dislikes her red hair, she gets called “Carrots” by Gilbert and ends up in a feud, and Mrs. Rachel Lynde goes on about she’s homely and scrawny. The main character in the most recent YA book I read? I have no idea if she’s short or tall or has brown eyes or blonde hair or really anything about her, and I certainly don’t favor some characters over others because of their physical appearance.

Character Personality

In terms of character personality, I think there’s a lot of gray area in terms of what it means for me to “like” a character. There’s a difference between finding the character interesting, thinking the person is nice to other characters, and thinking the character has the type of personality that means I’d personally like to be friends with them.

Yet one trait I think characters need for me to truly admire them is kindness. A character can be badass and smart and creative and do things that seem morally right (like fighting to save a kingdom from ruin), but if they aren’t driven by kindness and wanting to help others, exactly how nice are they? I love characters who, no matter what their other strengths and weaknesses, find the most power in kindness.

Briana

8 thoughts on “What Makes You Like a Character? (Let’s Talk Bookish)

  1. JdV says:

    I’ve never been able to really work out what makes me like a character. I think that my favourite characters are quite strong willed (especially femaie ones) but I also love a bit of humour.

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  2. Kim @ Traveling in Books says:

    Personally, I don’t feel the need to “like” the characters I read about, but I do need to find them compelling. I don’t like Paul Atreides from Dune or Kaul Shae from the Green Bone Saga, but I do find them compelling.

    For those characters I do actually like, such as Frodo and Sam, I appreciate their kindness and their loyalty, and the fact that they cling to what hope they can.

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  3. danielle pitter says:

    I’m a visual person so I need the physical aspects of what a character looks like. Otherwise I’ll just picture myself playing them lmaooo 🤣🤣 especially if they’re Black!! Then I’ll pay attention to if I can relate to them via their personality or home life, who they surround themselves with, etc.

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  4. Books Teacup and Reviews says:

    When I read books I can envision characters. it might not be a clear picture that I can name an actor who could play it well but I remember the idea of the look and if they are mentioned often with incidents like you said about Anne I can never forget the character’s look. As for personality, I love strongand yet vulnerable character, whose development is gradual and also grey character who make it uncertain to guess what they might do next but end up to be good even with their flaws.

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  5. Karla says:

    This is such an interesting post!! I am a very visual person and I manage to *see* the characters in my head very clearly; which, when there’s a lack of diversity is very upsetting. I also love morally grey characters but I completely agree that kindness is such an important factor into why I like them! 🥰

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