Connecting with Characters

For me, a character is basically worthless if I don’t understand or connect with them on some level. I feel like this is a very nice post to write, because someone who may stumble upon this may feel they connect with the same type of stuff, and may then find that a) they are not alone and b) there are some characters out there they might really love.

Now, for me, the characters I connect with are people. People as in fully fleshed out beings, where I want to get to know them, I feel like I could have a conversation with them, reading about them is like I’m getting to know them and starting a sort of friendship. I am the type of person that is generally hard to get on with. At least in real life. I’m told online I’m an absolute treat. Generally speaking though, I’m the creepy kind of introverted, this weird mixture of ‘warm’ and ‘cold’, blunt, cynical, and almost incapable of empathizing with other human beings, which leads to logic based opinions. I’m a glass-is-always-full type of person. A sentient robot, if you will. (Take note: the logical route pretty much always corresponds with the ‘good’ route – I can’t take people out of logic because that would be selfish and selfishness is, typically, illogical – more on that later, I suppose).

And I really, really, really dislike talking about myself. So I’m going to stop. Have a figurative smiley face.

Let’s get into it, then.

Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars

This book is absolutely NOT about teen cancer. It’s about life, and what’s the point if we’re all going to die, and all that good stuff. And because I’m depressing and I like philosophy, I think about that a lot. Most of Hazel’s thoughts were so spot on to my own thoughts that sharing them with you would feel too personal. She has a personality, and it’s wonderful. I will say that one of my favorite bits was that she watched America’s Next Top Model. A lot of people started going on an on about that being a stereotype – but she was very much not the type of girl to watch a show like that. It was a quirk. Like how me and my brother both like Ouran Highschool Host Club (the anime) even though it’s a fluffy rom-com. Other than the fact that it’s hilarious, it seems unlikely. Even more unlikely, we both found enjoyment in Fruits Basket. So, outside of personal stuff which would just be way too much (I felt for this chick so hard I actually cried – this is rare) she’s got weird quirks, I’ve got weird quirks, she get’s existential, I get existential. We’re a match made in heaven.

Julian Carax from The Shadow of the Wind

You may know that TSoW is my favorite book (followed by TFiOS, of course). This is getting tricky again because I am so in love with this book, I need everyone to read it and, as such, I cannot divulge the main reason why I connect with this man. Just know that he is damaged to the point of near-insanity and, if that wasn’t clear from the previous statement, he’s a writer. He loved, he lost. He very much lost himself, and it took love – of the friendship variety – to bring him back. I think we all could do from a bit of love. It’s so easy to be disconnected from everything, and then you meet one crazy person who won’t leave you alone and you find friendship and become a person again. I am in love with this concept. I connect with this concept. Julian Carax is the be all end all of this concept. He’s a very extreme form of myself, I feel, where he’s let everything that happened bring him down so much he just stop giving a shit about what happens to him. If I keep talking about him I’m going to end up revealing spoilers, and I don’t want to do that because do you really think I would trust you not to read the spoilers? Read the book. Google the spoilers, if you suck. But I shan’t be the one to ruin it.

Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Damaged? Check. Filled with a sense of isolation? Check. In need of friends to put him back together and make him feel like a person again? Check. Love of books and writing? Check, check. Charlie and I have different responses to different childhood issues, but the base needs and the core of what we want life to be are, essentially, the same. In many ways, I am Charlie. In many ways, I am not. What’s weird is, it’s this difference I connect with more than anything else. I am a fan of contrast. In biology, in psychology, in philosophy, contrast is my friend. This is the one character I feel I could actually be friends with. That we could actually talk to each other without everything seeming slightly meaningless.  He is the character that could be my friend, and as I was reading, I felt this friendship brewing. Based on the ideas that I have only now just considered, I might say that Charlie is my character; I connected with him in a way I don’t think I’ll be able to connect to anything else – real or fictional – again. Genuine in that, for me, a true connection cannot be repeated. Goodness I love Charlie. Another figurative smiley face.

This seems like a fine place to end it – have a nice day.

Favorite Characters Vol. 2

Let’s talk about the ladies.

Gilda Joyce

In an earlier blog, I believe I cited Twilight as my discovery of a love of reading. I had never read fantasy before and it lead me into trying to find better fantasies, but there was actually two series that came just before. May Bird, and Gilda Joyce.

Gilda Joyce was a sort of young supernatural detectives series, and I loved every second of it. Gilda was extremely eccentric, the type who wore pink cat eye glasses and blue wigs, disguising herself my looking completely ridiculous. She was around the age of 14, I believe, and an aspiring novelist, with around 5 ‘completed’ manuscripts hiding in her closest. She was basically be before I knew I was me. Outspoken, ridiculous, she’ll always be one of my favorites.

Isobel Lanley

Isobel is the protagonist of the Nevermore series. While I don’t immediately consider her to be one of my favorites, she sort of breaks the stereotype, so I feel like I should mention her. She’s a cheerleader dating a football player at the start of the story. Of, you know where this is going. She falls for the quiet kid and dumps her douche bag boyfriend and realize how much of a bitch she was and everyone lives happily ever after!

No.

She’s actually a genuinely nice person. She doesn’t like to break the boundaries of high school, sticking to her own crowd and all that, but she’s a nice girl. And, I mean, an actual cheerleader who competes and stuff rather than just waving around pom-poms in a skimpy outfit. Her boyfriend is also kind of nice, he’s just the jealous type. So dumps him for being a douche. Only after that does she start to fall for the weird guy, and even that has a natural progression to it. She’s portrayed as a lovely young lady, and I appreciate that.

This list might seem slightly underwhelming, but most of the ladies I want to talk about, I feel deserve their own blog. You know, Hazel, Jane Eyre, Nuria Monfort. Yeah.

Ta-ta for now.

Favorite Characters Vol. 1

It’s Day 15 of the 30 Day Challenge. There is no day 14. Day 14 is a lie.

Anyway.

The prompt is favorite male characters. I have so many I’ve decided to just start a series talking about my favorite characters in literature. I’m going to start with Jacob something or other, Mackie Doyle, and Augustus Waters.

Mackie Doyle

Mackie is the protagonist of the YA book The Replacement. Basically, the book is about a small superstitious town that lives with the constant fear of their children being taken in the night by these creatures who are severely allergic to iron. It’s a quirky little tale, taking a lot of it’s lore from fairy lore, and the idea of the changeling. In the book, when one of the human babies is taken, the creatures leave behind one of their own sick children. The replacement usually dies within a couple of weeks. Mackie is one of the replacements that, for some odd, reason, did not die when he was supposed to.

I can completely relate to this kid. Everyone knows what it’s like to feel like a freak in high school, how you’re completely different from everyone. Mackie actually is a freak, and he’s very much aware of how different he is from other people. More aware of it than other people are, in fact. He’s not human, he’s not quite sure what his deal is, and he’s just trying to keep his head down so the superstitious town doesn’t freak out. He’s also kind of a sweet heart and a hero by accident. Those are two of my favorite things.

Perhaps my favorite thing about Mackie is the fact that he’s an idiot. You can read it going ‘Why would you do that? Mackie stop it. Mackie, no. Mackie!’ and be reminded that he is, in fact, a teenager. He makes mistakes. And he’s sweet and he’s just lovely and I love him.

Jacob

We’re not talking about Twilight. We’re talking about North of Beautiful. One of my favorite books, for some reason. There’s something wonderful about Jacob, right from the start. For some background, Jacob is one of the main characters of the story. He was adopted from China when he was very young by a wealthy blonde lady, and meets the protagonist when she almost hits him with her car after getting a treatment to try and remove the giant birthmark (port wine stain) on her face. His attitude toward life is generally light, and he likes to use humor to get through things. but he also knows when to be serious. The truly spectacular thing about Jacob is his philosophy.

Basically, he takes everything, clothing and the like, to be costumes to project what you want people to see, what you want them to think about you. When he goes into a small town where people don’t know him and his family, he knows people are going to stare. He’s clearly adopted and he’s not female (most children adopted out of China are female). People also tend to point out the scar on his face from a surgery to correct the cleft lip. He’s used to staring, but he’s also decided he’s going to decide why people stare. So, in a small town, he goes full out goth. I appreciate that.

I might like Jacob just a bit more than Mackie, but that might be due to the fact that the story of North of Beautiful is put together better than The Replacement. So yeah. I love them both.

Augustus Waters

I lied. He’s getting his own blog. I just really wanted to mention him here, put the thought in your mind. I don’t think you’re ready for Augustus Waters.

Toodle loo!