Wednesday, 22 June 2011


Shhh. Don't make any sudden movements. My laptop might turn off again!

Yes, it's still misbehaving - though it has managed to stay on for a whole two hours today, and I'm trying not to push my luck - so this post will be short and sweet. I'm turning it over to you. What makes a character special to you? What works? 

Pick a favourite character - or one of many - and tell me why you think they're amazing.

My choice-
Which was hard. I have so many. I was going to go with Sherlock Holmes, but everyone knows all about him, so I'm going with Anna from Eva Ibbotson's The Secret Countess. She's an impoverished Russian countess who flees her home during the Revolution and goes to England. To support her family, she finds a job as a maid at the country home of an English lord/war hero and of course, she starts to fall in love with him - amidst a whole lot of obstacles and other shenanigans.

Anna is fabulous. She's sweet and brave and stubborn and hilarious. The book is funny and heartbreaking and sweet all that the same time and Anna is just about the reason for all of that. She's incredibly selfless (in a good way) and everything she says is funny and her love story with Rupert is fantastic.

Best moment: That dance. If you've read the book you'll know what I mean. If you haven't, well, go do it because it's such a lovely book!

And now it's your turn. Who's your pick?


  1. Oh wow - how can I choose? I love lots of characters. I guess what makes a character special to me is a past. I love it when there's something behind each character, you know? Something mysterious. I love those hooded swordsman types, like Aragorn, and those soldiers, like Whiskeyjack. But overall favorite... I'd have to say Tavi from the Codex Alera. He's just AWESOME. Starts out as a kid without magic, but grows into pure awesome in a really believable way.

  2. Don't jiggle the mouse too much!
    Pendergast from Douglas Preston & Licoln Child's books - he's a detective and a quirky but heroic character.

  3. Well there's Snape for the obvious reasons: conflicted, flawed, doesn't have to explain himself to the likes of an eleven year old who happened to not get killed by the Dark Lord. (Interesting that the Dark Lord came to me first and not Voldemort or He-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named.) Tyrion from A Song of Ice and Fire because he's intelligent, cunning, sarcastic, brilliant, and so unappreciated. I guess I like my characters conflicted with their own moral compass (which isn't the same as being immoral). Thought-provoking post!

  4. I adore Anna. That dance indeed.

    I have no brain this evening and can't pick a character. I'll return to read the other comments and see if I'm more coherent then.

  5. I like Anna too. My favourite is Bartimaeus from the Amulet of Samarkand etc.

    I love his sarcasm and tomfoolery in the face of danger/servitude, and his oddly calm and sane outlook on life, compared to his demon brethren.

  6. Martin Blank from "Grosse point blank"... I dig how he is unrepentant but wanting to change.
    And also how the snappy dialogue just seemingly occurs around him, despite the fact that he is unwittingly triggering it he is mostly passive in these exchanges.

  7. That sounds like a fun book!

    I really like the Count of Monte Cristo. He is a fascinating study. So patient and thorough with his revenge. I love that he sees things no one else does. You cringe to watch, yet cheer at the same time. And I love that when he is on the edge, it's a pure woman who brings him back to goodness. I don't think I expressed myself well, but great character!

  8. Now that you’ve asked the question I find that I’m not really drawn to ‘amazing’ characters – everyone I could think of was distinguished more by flaws and failings – but I think perhaps Ivan Denisovich might be considered by some to be amazing. Ivan is not a big man, not physically nor in any other way, but he is a survivor. I think One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich would be far less powerful than it is if Solzhenitsyn had chosen a stereotypical hero as his protagonist. Ivan could be you, he could be me – he embodies the human spirit that refuses to go gently into that good night.

  9. Oh dear Lord. What a question! I'm not sure I have the mental energy to deal with at the moment, but my first response would be Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. Love her spirit!

  10. I like Parker in Richard Stark's series of novels. He refuses to compromise and keeps going even when he has no chance. I think I like someoen who believes in waht they're doing.

    Moody Writing
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  11. Oh, this sounds like a great character! (definitely NOT Anna Karenina!!) The first character that popped into my head just now is Lucy from the Narnia Chronicles (not the movies, though that actress is cute too). I fell in love with Lucy the moment she forgave Tumnus for trying to lure her.

  12. You are 100% right. THAT dance is the best moment. I love Eva Ibbotson.

    My favorite character is Scarlet O'Hara from Gone with the Wind. She makes me furious, happy, sad, frustrated ... aka she's a real person with flaws and gumption.