Tag Archives: Character

Top Ten Tuesday: Character Traits I Love

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Wooden figurine posed to look as if its grieving, despondent, curious, and happy. This was such a fun and easy prompt to do.

The stock photo attached to this post made me think of all of the different emotions the same character may show in the same story.

1. Intelligent

They don’t have to be geniuses, but I do enjoy reading about how bright characters see the world.

2. Warm and Affectionate

There’s something about characters with this personality that make them irresistible to me. I can appreciate many different types of flaws in a character so long as they start from this base.

3. Active

I exercise regularly and enjoy spending time outdoors. It’s nice to read about characters who are also into staying active.

4. Cautious

There’s something to be said for thinking things through before rushing into a possibly dangerous situation.

5. Quirky

I was about to put the term strange here, but maybe quirky is a little bit more accurate. Characters who wander off the beaten path of life are alluring.

6. Easygoing

While I  can and do also enjoy stories about people who can be high-strung, I generally prefer to read about folks who take a more relaxed approach to life.

7. Bashful

There aren’t enough books out there about folks who are quietly amazing but who will never be the life of the party. For example, I would have loved to read a chapter or two of Anne of Green Gables from Matthew Cuthbert’s perspective. He was honestly more interesting to me than Anne was because of how shy he was about sharing his feelings.

8. Innocent

Honestly, I’ve grown weary of reading about shady protagonists who may not be trustworthy. Retaining some innocence is a good thing no matter how old someone is.

9. Thrifty

That is, it’s nice when characters take care of what they own and are mindful of how they spend their money.

10. Creative

It doesn’t matter how that creativity is expressed. I’m always interested in reading about people who can take an ordinary moment in life and find the beauty in it somewhere.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Wish Existed

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I rarely if ever meet characters like the ones I’m about to describe to you, but I dream about reading about them someday. If you know of books in any genre featuring characters who match these descriptions, please do speak up!

A Hero Who Doesn’t Succeed

No, I’m not saying the antagonist absolutely must win. Maybe he or she could win! Or maybe someone else in the storyline defeats them instead. Either way, I’d be quite interested in meeting the Chosen One, investing in their journey, and then seeing what happens after their best shot at winning doesn’t work.

A Genuinely Unlikeable Protagonist

Think of someone who is not only an antihero but who just doesn’t seem like they’d be a pleasant person to spend time with in general. Perhaps they regularly meddle in other people’s affairs, have low emotional intelligence, or regularly offend people by never thinking before they speak. I don’t know why I’m so interested in reading about such unpleasant characters at the moment, but I am.

A Non-Canine Animal Protagonist

I’ve read several amazing books like The Art of Racing in the Rain that show the world through a dog’s eyes so convincingly that it almost felt as though actual dogs had been consulted during the writing of it. I wonder if there are any books out there written as though a cat or some other creature was telling the story?

A Magical World Based on Science

Okay, so obviously there is no scientific basis for magic in our world. I’d still love to read a fantasy, sci-fi, or similar book about a world where magic has a scientific explanation that is explained to the audience and that logically works with the particular physics/chemistry/biology of whatever planet it is set on.

Magic is an incredible thing to read about….I just wish the mechanics of it were explained better. To tie this better into this week’s prompt, maybe the main character could be a scientist who also performed magic?

Ideas, anyone?

Personas Aren’t People

The next chapter of After the Storm is taking a little longer to write than I had anticipated, but it will be posted tomorrow evening. Today I’m responding to a blog post about public personas.

My golden rule when looking at a celebrity is to ask myself whether or not I would like to be friends with them if I knew them in real life. I ask myself, “Would I be proud to call this person my friend if I knew them? Would I add their number to my contacts list?”

From Ellen Degeneres.

This was such a thought-provoking blog post, but I was struck by how differently the author and I think about celebrities.

One of the benefits of growing up a preacher’s kid is that I learned early on that personas aren’t people. The similarities between the expectations average people hold of pastors and of celebrities are actually quite interesting.

People in both professions are held to a higher standard than other families, and their spouses and kids are included in these inflated expectations. The problem with this is that perfection isn’t possible. Everyone makes mistakes eventually, so what families living in this fishbowl must learn to do is keep their public faces on even when they think no one is watching.

Personas can be influenced heavily by your real personality and identity, but at the end of the day your public face isn’t the real you.  By its very nature the range of emotions a persona shows is limited by what others expect of it.

I’m a fan of Ellen’s comedy routines and TV show, and I really appreciate the messages she teaches about kindness, tolerance, and playfulness. I share many of the values Ellen discusses on her show, and in no way am I insinuating anything about who she is when the camera stops rolling. There’s no way for me to know this information because I don’t know her personally.

But how well I think I’d get along with entertainers isn’t something that consciously affects what I watch or listen to. Public personas are simply another tool singers/actors/comedians use to draw in an audience, and I don’t expect famous people who are known for X to actually necessarily be X in their private lives.

Readers, do you form strong opinions about entertainers based on their public personas?

Post Hoc and the Good Person Question

Lorena had a great question on her blog last week. For those of you who aren’t interested in following the link, she has a friend who said the following and she wanted to know how other non-theists would respond to it:

I had a classmate in high school. He was a pastor’s kid and did all the right things. He was courteous, loving, kind, friendly, etc. If religion can make a person like that, then I see nothing wrong with religion.

Here’s what I would say:

  1. That sounds post hoc. There are wonderful and terrible people in every religion. That doesn’t mean that one causes the other.
  2. Are some individuals influenced to become better human beings by their beliefs? Of course.
  3.  I’ve also seen some people’s beliefs lead them to act much less loving, kind and compassionate than they would otherwise behave.
  4. Is either phenomenon limited to Christianity? Heck no. Any group with more than one member is bound to include at least one jerk.
  5. What about people whose behaviour isn’t tied to what they believe? Some of us have (de)converted to other labels without growing horns or a halo.
  6. There’s nothing wrong with being religious. There’s also nothing wrong with not being religious. What matters is how you treat people. Everything else is neckbearding.
  7. The only time I get irritated with other belief systems is when they’re shoved into areas in which they don’t belong. See: every U.S. presidential election I can remember.
  8. Why is everyone arguing about this? Let’s all go out for lemonade and cookies instead. My treat. 🙂

Change of Heart

I wasn’t planning to share another short film so soon after discussing The Maker with all of you last week but this was a great story. There is a more traditional post coming on Monday for those of you who aren’t interested in short films.

A quick synopsis for everyone who couldn’t/didn’t click play:

A husband and wife both had multiple sexual partners before (re)committing their live to Allah and marrying one another. When an old friend runs into them on the street the husband becomes jealous of his wife’s past and storms off. Even though he wasn’t a virgin either he feels that it’s somehow worse for his wife to have had previous lovers than for him to have that experience.

Double standards are a funny thing. What is slightly annoying if ultimately excusable when you do it becomes an obviously pre-meditated act of obnoxiousness when someone else does it.

Or at least that’s the thought process I’ve been guilty of more than once. It’s so much easier to point out what other people are doing wrong than to offer them the same grace you want for yourself.

Maybe my readers are better human beings but I still haven’t figured out how to not participate in this merry-go-round of mismatched expectations. 😉

Any ideas on how one can stop doing this?

The Gratitude Challenge: Part Two

Ok, time’s up. I hope you were able to find plenty of opportunities to express gratitude to all of the kind people in your life. Now let’s take this a step further. Think of someone in your life – a friend, family member, coworker, neighbour, or acquaintance – who really irritates you. This works better if it’s… Read More

The Gratitude Challenge: Part One

Your challenge today is to express gratitude. I don’t think feeling gratitude is something most of us have to practice. Almost every time the topic has come up organically with friends or family everyone says that they’re grateful for all of the good stuff in their lives. But I do think that we often have… Read More

The Ethics of Being on Time

I’ve been having an internal debate about the intersection of ethics and culture. Punctuality is something I take pretty seriously. 15 minutes early is on time, arriving on time is late for me. A few minutes here or there isn’t a big deal but being chronically late eventually says something to me about how much… Read More

Mailbag #1

Anonymous asks: I’m negative. How do I fix it? Hello! Thanks for your question. As you didn’t provide any other details here are a few things to consider for the next few minutes: Are you otherwise coping with life ok? Negative thinking can be a symptom of depression, among other illnesses. I’m not a doctor (and… Read More