Friday, November 4, 2011

Let's Talk About Characters

Characters shouldn't be perfect. Characters who are perfect are BORING. Snow White? Bitch is BORING. But the what's-her-face, Ursula from The Little Mermaid. Oh yeah, more of her. Vikki from One Life to Live was only interesting when she became Nikki. And Tyler Perry's version For Colored Girls? Which character did you want to watch? The social worker (played by beautiful Kerry Washington (hi, Kerry, please play Nicole if View ever becomes a movie. xoxx) - or The Ho' (played by gorgeous Thandie Newton - hi, Thandie, please play Leilani if View ever becomes a movie. xoxx)

Lionel Shriver recently wrote an article about this.

Because in real life, people are not always perfectly charming. I try to duplicate in fiction the complex, contradictory, and infuriating people I meet on the other side of my study door. When fiction works, readers can develop the same nuanced, conflicted relationships to characters that they have to their own friends and family. I’m less concerned that you love my characters than that you recognise them. Human beings have rough edges. Authors who write exclusively about ethical, admirable, likeable characters are not writing about real people.

In The View from Here, Nicole is a bit whiny, insecure, a bitch in many ways. I BET you know someone like that.

In A Quiet Storm, Stacy is self-deprecating and enables her sister, putting her husband second and running off to save her sister at all costs. Until she doesn't.


Who are your favorite flawed characters, in film, literature or television?

No comments:

Post a Comment