Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
October 8: Character Traits I Love (submitted by Hannah @ Books Life and Other Oddities)
I am rushing to complete this topic in time because this is a really fun theme! It will probably reveal a little too much of how weird I am when it comes to tastes in characters though, lol. In my ideal reading scenario, characters challenge the reader, themselves, and each other as much as possible. Most of these terms were picked from the following list at this blog post here– 5 from positive traits and, (!) 5 from the negative traits section. Because, again, I am weird and often like unlikable characters lol.
First, the positive traits.
If a character can deliver quick-witted witty banter, I am here for them. Might actually start googling most witty book characters to make sure to read all those types because I love love witty characters. Many props to the authors who write them capably, I figure it’s not always that easy to do.
When characters come up with creative ways out of their predicaments and give me that “ah ha” moment, it’s always nice and becomes easier to bond with and admire the characterization. By the way, character mentioning that they paint or draw and never ever bringing it up again in any compelling way doesn’t count lol.
I know I’m reading a good book when it makes me want to do whatever the character is doing or being where they are. Showing keen interest in their life’s work or a hobby or some larger plot that enthralls them usually ends up enthralling me too.
Particularly in the context of high-stress plotlines, characters who are protective over a child/sibling/loved one/lover/pet/sandwich; I don’t care, just be protective. It usually makes for some major feels.
I think of this as being linked potentially to character growth? Love seeing a weak character get strong, a stupid character get smarter, that sort of thing. Or even better, to realize that I’ve short-changed a character and they’re much more than meets the eye- also very nice.
Now for the negative traits.
6.) Unreliable (as in unreliable narrator)
So this one requires a bit more explaining. Long story short, I like when a story or character is much more than meets the eye- and this often involves information that is kept from the reader or misconstrued. Would love to provide examples of this but it gets spoilery to do so. Point is, if I’m not sure whether a character’s point of view is trustworthy, this can sometimes lead to a nicely puzzling storyline worthy of extra thought.
Revenge stories with good-characters-gone-bad. Can’t recall the last time I read something like this but the concept already sounds like an easy sell for me. Imagine a book with flashbacks when the main character was “good” and then bringing us back to the present when they’re “bad.” Just a thought. But yeah, revenge stories with a vengeful character at the center are often intense or interesting so I’m here for it.
8.) Enigmatic / Secretive
I like not being sure what to make of a character or what their true goal is. When they have an aura of mystery or layers to peel back- it’s the best.
Passionate but with a more negative connotation. I’m often fine with each. Characters that are driven to the point of obsession, whether protagonist or antagonist, are often memorable.
First of all, this is my new favorite word, second of all- its synonyms are starry-eyed, unrealistic, and extravagant. Or naively honorable. I can see where this can go wrong but I like when characters are visionaries with high hopes. And when it’s set to fail I can’t help but feel bad for them.
Many thanks for checking out this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, really hoping these cat gifs display correctly lol. I hope this post is fun to read . Very much looking forward to reading your Top 10 Tuesday Traits Post, if you make one. What kind of character traits do you like? It’s nice to see some positive vibes post topics. Thanks as always for reading. ~ Kitty