Sunday, 7 October 2018

What is Your Favourite Type of Character?

I was tagged by a friend on Instagram recently, and asked to take part in a sharing a photo with the hashtag 'favourite female characters'. Coincidentally, one of my lectures that week was also about characters, their development, and what kind of characters readers like to spend time reading about... So I thought this post would be perfect to sum up my thoughts!

The Pool of Tears, Alice in Wonderland - photo by Ellie Morris

Answers in class were mixed, but for the most part people seemed to appreciate 'nice' characters. The genuinely kind, helpful, goodhearted sort (Bertie Wooster as written by P.G. Wodehouse is the first example that springs to my mind when I think of those qualities!). Characters that are witty were also generally well-received, according to my group discussion. Admittedly, there are only about twenty of us in that workshop, but I think there's some truth about the sweeter, more wholesome characters being popular.
When I think about who my favourite characters are, they also seem to fit with those traits for the most part, being characters easily sympathised with - and in Bertie Wooster's case, easy to laugh at and with, too!

Here are some of my favourite female characters, from the tag I responded to on Instagram:

Alice (Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll) ✧

Dorothy Gale (The Wizard of Oz series, by Frank L. Baum) ✧

Mary Lennox (The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett) ✧

Claudia (The Vampire Chronicles, by Anne Rice) ✧

Manuela von Meinhardis (Mädchen in Uniform, or The Child Manuela, by Christa Winsloe) ✧

As a whole, I tend to like the whimsical characters that daydream a lot and go on adventures, those that are brave, curious, and aren't afraid to show their emotions - Alice, Dorothy and Mary fit those descriptions well. I also like the passionate but tragic characters, such as Manuela and Claudia. 

This weekend was dedicated mostly to developing a new character of my own. It's such an exciting feeling, putting together a new person with their own thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears, and interests... I can't say too much because I'm planning on using her for some university work, but I came up with her in the Scriptwriting workshop and really enjoyed creating the image of her in my mind (though I 'made' her in scriptwriting I think she may fit with the short story module a lot better). 

I will say that I used a new-to-me software to plan things out, and it made the whole compiling of information from different sources a lot easier! If you ever want to try a more visual way of fact-gathering, with images, text, links and videos all in one place, OneNote is a wonderful software. It's basically like a notebook, with different tabs for whatever subjects or projects you want, and you can add 'pages' to them. 
Okay, so I might be late to the party as always, but I know I'll be using OneNote a lot more often now that I've tried it out! 

Aside from building on my character and doing homework (can you hear me crying? I'm sat in a lake of coursebooks and notes right now) I visited some antique bookstores, and I may have gone a bit wild... I came home with six books, only two of which are related to my course. 
"The Power" by Naomi Alderman was purchased for a lecture, and "The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories" by Angela Carter was *kind of* to do with my course, in that I came across her works through some tangent while doing homework and I really wanted to read more. 
Then I bought a 1970's book on dollhouses and making art dolls in an antique bookshop, and three other books in another antique store. 
A couple of months ago I posted about a book I found by an author called L.T. Meade - well, I wanted to find more of her works since I enjoyed that one so much. Part of the attraction is the collectable aspect of her books, being made in the 1890's-early 1900's and having spines like elaborate, lacy rainbows held in glass cases. If I'd been brave enough to take a photo, you would have seen what I meant as that room filled with antique children's books was just a dream come true, but I managed to find two more of her books - "Marigold" and "Water Gipsies" - and another one by Louisa May Alcott, called "A Garland for Girls". 
I absolutely can't wait to read them, but I have so much other reading that I need to do before I even touch them! 

To fit with the topic of this post, what is your favourite kind of character, dear reader? Let me know in the comments!

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