Monday, January 24, 2011

I Stand Corrected

Last week I blogged about the importance of creating a likable character. And for the most part, everything I said is true.

But....you know how I said I like to break the rules? Well, I'm reading BEASTLY by Alex Flinn and let's just say she's very successfully broken the likable character rule!

The MC is a horrible, mean-spirited, selfish character who qualifies - under every definition of the word - as a beast.

So why did it work for Alex Flinn?

Maybe it helps that most of us are familiar with the story of BEAUTY & THE BEAST so we know that the MC will eventually turn-around, have a change of heart and become such a wonderful, lovely person we can't help but swoon.

Maybe it's because Alex Flinn has created a character that's so awful, we're actually glad that a witch turns him into a beast. Serves him right. The jerk.

Maybe it's the mastery of an obnoxious, rich-boy characterization. Maybe it's attitude. Maybe it's voice. Maybe it's lots of things.

Whatever the reason, it works.

So if you decide to create an obnoxious character, make sure your reasons are well-grounded. And that, in the end, your character can redeem themselves.

Happy writing!

6 comments:

Ciara said...

I love when I read a book with a different type of hero/heroine. Don't get me wrong, I love the alpha hero and all, but I also love a good surprise. One where you start the book not a hundred percent sure the protagonist will have the strength to handle what you know is coming. By the end of the novel you've grown WITH the character. Does that make sense. LOL

Angie said...

That sounds great. I think it's really true that if you want to break "the rules," you havee to have a good reason.

lbdiamond said...

LOL, just goes to show, every rule is meant to be broken! :D

WritersBlockNZ said...

I thought that Artemus Fowl was a very unlikable character as well, but it seemed to work in the book!

Julie Musil said...

I've read a couple of books which begin with unlikeable characters. By the end, I care about them and root for them. It's a tricky thing to pull off, but worth the effort.

Amie Kaufman said...

I was talking about this just today, great timing! Artemis Fowl is a great example of this--an unlikeable character who finds redemption over time (and briliant MG, on the off chance you haven't read the series).