Why hello there! Welcome back! I hope your week hasn’t been too rough on you. Me, I’m knee deep in editing Anialych, the next of the Druid Novels. Yes, I’m still editing it. I think this will be the last intensive editing round though. Hopefully. The book is getting to where I love it again, so I know I'm on the right track!
But I’ve digressed. This month, I wanted to take some time to talk about the things that make up a good story, and so I asked myself one simple question:
What are readers looking for in a novel?
Think you know the answer? I have a pretty good idea, and for the month of September, I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you.
#2: Characters We Hate
Last time, we talked about the exact opposite of this—and I’m guessing that one made a little bit more sense. I’m sure at least some of you are wondering why hated characters would be something readers look for in a novel, but please, hear me out.
There has to be a bad guy. Has to. We love for there to be someone we hate, someone we just cannot stand. We love to have a character to bash on, a character who’s the polar opposite to the one we love.
It’s a very important part of plot development, in some stories, and in almost all of them it’s very nearly a dire requirement. I mean, if there's no bad guy, then what's really the point? ;-)
But how do we create a character we hate, and how do we know if we’ve succeeded?
If you read Tuesday’s post, this might be an easy answer, so I’ll try a new spin on it.
Hated characters are the ones we create out of the deepest darkest parts of ourselves, sometimes to the point that we didn’t even know we could go. Personally, I’ve created some big bad baddies that I’ve had to go so far as to tone down for the final version of a book, because I didn’t want to shock my readers. Those characters, those hated and despised characters, come from the darkness we see in the world around us.
That’s not as hard to come up with as it should be, if you ask me.
We know we’ve succeeded in making this kind of character when it makes us cringe, when we dislike the things we’ve written simply because we dislike this character so much. Because if we hate them so much, so will our readers.
Plain and simple.
Next time, let’s get off the character train, shall we?