It happens to all of us. We pickup a new book, begin reading, and then BAM! a new character pops up on the pages and you’re just like “WELL HELLOOO THERE.”
Normally I’d say instalove is nonsense. Buuut let’s be honest here. With some characters, it takes us rabid readers 0.2 seconds to fall in love with them and call them our baby and send threatening letters to the authors that our Baby must never, ever, ever be harmed even whilst we’re reading about them being tortured and probably dying because the best characters always die.
BEING A BOOKWORM IS HARD OKAY.
But we just keep reading anyway because, ya know, BOOKS. Books bring us precious characters to love and adore and fangirl/boy over and cry about and YES. CHARACTERS. 100% my favorite part about reading and writing and just being a fangirl all around. (Even when character deaths leave a permanent scar in my heart.)
For all of us, I believe we have specific types of characters we tend to gravitate toward. The kind that, no matter what, you’re going to love them and their book. ALWAYS. Who cares if the plot is dumb and all the other characters make watching paint dry an exciting activity??? This book has THIS TYPE of character in it so NATURALLY YOU LOVE IT.
I have lots of types of characters I love and adore (really, it’s probably getting unhealthy). But today I’m going to list 7 types that make my fangirl heart putter and give me an uncontrollable urge to hug the book and yell at everyone in the universe to read it.
. . . THE ANTIHEROES . . .
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING. I’m not exactly quiet about my undying love for antiheroes. *cough* BUT THEY’RE SO INTERESTING.
Antiheroes are those characters who aren’t exactly bad, but definitely not good either. They’re usually out for their own gain, and don’t care how they get it. Sometimes they’ll work for the bad guys, sometimes they’ll help the good ones out, but they’re nooot exactly in the business of saving the world.
So why do I love them so much? Well, for one thing, they’re such an intriguing (and sometimes scary) picture of the human race. Usually, at some point, the antihero has to make a choice: To fight for good or join the dark side. And isn’t that how it is for all of us? We can’t all live in the “in between” forever. We’re either for God for against Him.
I’m also head over heels for any type of big character arc, and antiheroes pretty much always have one. My faaaaaavorite kind are the antiheroes who start out mostly bad but end up joining the heroes in the end. SO MUCH SQUEALING. SO MUCH HAPPINESS. Though the characters who at first are sorta good but then slowly spiral into villiany also greatly intrigue me. (Just not if it’s like a protagonist or something. Don’t get me wrong, I do not condone villainy for our heroes. Pleeease give me heroes that are good and wholesome, people!)
Thorne (The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer)
Thorne is kiiiinda an antihero. (And I’m pretty sure you’re all aware of my utter and unashamed love for him. <3)
Damien (Chasing Shadows and Defying Shadows by Ashley Townsend)
He definitely had some antihero-ness going on annnd, again, I loved him so much.
(I want to say Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender but that’s a TV show and I was trying to stick to book characters… BUT ZUKO IS LIKE MY FAVORITE OF EVER SO YES.)
There’s probably one billion others but antiheroes always = spoilers for some reason so I’m trying to be careful here… (Also most of my favorites are from TV shows for some reason??? Come on, books, gimme more antiheroes!)
. . . THE QUIET, SWEET
SPIRITED BABIES . . .
You know those precious babies who may not be found on the front lines of battle carrying a sword larger than their bodies, but they will slay their enemies with their pure GOODNESS. I LOVE THEM. The healers, the encouragers. The ones who choose to sit in the background, but whose love and support strengthens everyone. They may not have a lot to say, but when they do speak, it’s always a kind word to lift one up. At first appearances, they seem weak, cowardly, but they’re truly the strongest of anyone. Not through brute force, but from the peace and kindness they hold inside.
Side note: These are often the characters who cause antiheroes to turn to the good side. Give me a dark, broody, broken antihero guy and pure and gentle precious gal and I WILL SHIP IT SO HARD.
Bonnie (The Dragons in Our Midst/Oracles of Fire series by Bryan Davis)
Literally her sweet and kind spirit causes like EVERYONE IN THE SERIES to be better people and just asdkjf;lksjd;lfjksdf. She is #Goals.
Sapphira (also The Dragons in Our Midst/Oracles of Fire series by Bryan Davis)
Only my FAVORITE character from those books. She’s gentle and kind but also probably the strongest character I know. Period. She suffered so much but kept her sweet spirit throughout it all. I LOVE HER.
. . . THE FUN-LOVING ONES . . .
These are the characters who make you laugh and smile even while the world is spiraling into doom and despair. The joke-crackers, the lighthearted ones. BUT they’re not just there for comedy relief. (I can’t stand empty characters who purely exist to make you laugh. Give me some depth, people! Actually Victoria @ Wanderer's Pen did a post recently on how comic relief characters should and should not be written. Everyone should read it! It was my thoughts EXACTLY.)
Usually these characters are loyal to a fault, and can find joy and hope where it seems like no joy exists. They’re also great at making really cheesy puns even while the world is ending.
Walter (The Dragons in Our Midst/Oracles of Fire series by Bryan Davis)
(These books have a lot of amazing characters, okay???) Walter is the protagonist’s best friend and has all these traits I named—hope, joy, loyalty. But he also is always there to crack a super lame joke when you need one the most. And we love him for it.
Blaze (Twinepathy by C.B. Cook)
THIS BOY. GAH. He’s fun, sweet, and will make hilarious comments while saving your life. Everyone should have a Blaze!
Kaylee (The Angel Eyes trilogy by Shannon Dittemore)
Kaylee is Brielle’s (the protagonist) best friend, and her lightheartedness and witty jokes balance out Brielle’s more serious persona perfectly. Kaylee was one of my favorite parts of these books. She was hilarious!
I’m realizing this type of character tends to always be the best friend to the protagonist. But that makes sense. When you’re saving the world and nearly dying like every three pages, you need a best friend to crack a joke now and again, am I right? I’m alllll for the fun-loving best friends!
. . . COCKY DUDES WITH
HEARTS OF GOLD . . .
Wit. Sarcasm. Constantly praising their own skills and good looks. But, deep down, will sacrifice everything to save their loved ones. YOU KNOW THE CHARACTERS. These are like my top, TOP favorite characters in existence. Like excuse me while I go put on a wedding dress ‘cause we’re gettin’ married. Annnd they just happen to be antiheroes quite a lot, soooo… *wriggles eyebrows* (I have a problem, I know.)
BUT SERIOUSLY. I LOVE THEM. These guys usually always have some sort of witty sarcastic remark to throw around at every corner. And sometimes they seem like the most selfish beings alive. But, next thing you know, they’re cuddling a kitten or leaping into battle to save your life even though it musses up their perfect hair. What’s there not to love??? I’m 99.9% likely to adore a book if it has this type of character.
Eanrin (The Tales of Goldstone Wood books by Anne Elisabeth Stengl)
Who doesn’t love this silver-tongued, snarky, full of himself hero? I mean, really! He’s heroic, makes music, and still leaves plenty of time in his busy schedule for an hourly sarcastic comment or so. Perfection.
Thorne (The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer)
YES I KNOW I ALREADY LISTED HIM BUT THOOOORNE. He’s like the epitome of this type of character.
Howl (Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones)
LITERALLY MY FAVORITE CHARACTER IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE. Period. Howl has it all. Good looks, wit, sarcasm for daaaays. And, at first, you think he’s the most selfish, exasperating jerk to exist. But deep down just… LDSJFLJSL:JDLKJFD. HOWL.
(Those are three of my most favoritest character to exist. I told you I love this type of character.)
. . . NICE BUT TAKE-NO-NONSENSE GALS . . .
Jut like the cocky-but-heart-of-gold characters are my favorite fictional guys, these types are probably my favorite fictional girls.
Now I’m not talkin’ the cold-shoulder, super tough girls that seem to be the only type of protagonists we get in YA books these days. (*rolls eyes* Don’t even get me started.) No. These are the girls who are actually very kind and good-hearted, but if you’re acting out they ain’t going to lie down and take it. They can gently care for your wound and sass you at the same time. #Skills They are often prone to having a temper, but their anger is usually righteous anger, because their heart is in the right place. Think Ellie May from The Andy Griffith Show. She was one of the sweetest characters on the show, but she could chew Andy out like nobody’s business. She was great. XD (Yes, I know I said I was just going to list book character. Shhhh.)
Sweet. Spunky. Sassy. These are the types of females I love to find in my books.
Imraldera (The Tales of Goldstone Wood books by Anne Elisabeth Stengl)
This amazing woman manages to be both soft-spirited and spunky at the same time. She has a loving, kind nature, but can totally put Eanrin in his place when he needs it.
Cimorene (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede)
If anybody is spunky and temperamental, it’s Cimorene. She’s not someone you want as your enemy, but if she’s your friend, you’re set for life.
Sophie (Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones)
(Like you’re even surprised both Howl and Sophie made it into a post about my favorite character types.) SOPHIE THOUGH. Sophie is certainly kind and wants to help people, but DO NOT make her angry. Calling Sophie spunky is putting it mildly. She’s the perfect match for Howl. *grins*
Annabeth (The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan)
Who doesn’t love Annabeth’s wit and temper? She’s a sweet gal, but brace yourself for the sarcasm that comes with her.
I’m realizing this is a very common type of female character because I keep thinking of examples. And I’m 1000% okay with that. Give me ALL the sweet, spunky girls!
. . . SUPER SHY & AWKWARD CINNAMON ROLLS . . .
Remember how I said the last two types were my favorites of all time? I LIED. Okay, that’s not true. (Yes, I just lied about lying. #Lie-ception) My heart is big enough for MULTIPLE FAVORITES, okay???
BUT THE SHY, AWKWARD CHARRIES. *all the heart-eyes*
Where everyone else is off throwing out battle cries and snarking each other to death, these precious babies are just trying to not trip over their shoelaces. They’re the ones wondering why oh why there must be so many adventures in the world. Can’t we all just get along by staying home reading books and politely ignoring each other?
Every time I come across these characters I want to hug and squeeze them and call them George. THEY’RE JUST TOO PRECIOUS FOR THIS WORLD. Or…whatever world their books happen to be set in.
Peeta (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)
PEETA DECORATES CAKES. He doesn’t want to be sent off to murder teenagers. Just give him a blank cake, a tube of icing, and a quiet setting and he’s happy. HE IS PRECIOUS. Can we all just give this baby a hug please? (Although technically Peeta is neither shy nor awkward since his whole thing was being a good speaker but…he still somehow fits this category????)
Cress (The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer)
Cress is nearly tied with Sophie as my favorite female character. THAT IS HOW MUCH I LOVE HER. She’s nerdy and adorable and jumps at her own shadow and makes awkward squeaking noises whenever her crush is around. TOO. MUCH. PRECIOUS.
Fun fact: This also happens to be my TOP favorite character type to write. Iavin from my Colors of a Dragon Scales series has this type of personality and he’s my favorite POV to write to date.
. . . WHIMSICALLY
CHAOTIC BEANS . . .
There are some characters that defy all categories, which, in turn, creates a category all on its own. YES IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE. (Please just smile and nod and give me the illusion I’m make sense all the time even though I never am.) These little beans can be described by one word: Nonsense. They’re whimsical and strange and sometimes cause confusion and disasters wherever they go, but you’re drawn to them anyway. They’re the types that make you think, “I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY’RE DOING BUT I LOVE IT.”
I loooove whimsically nonsensical characters. LOVE. They may be my favorites of all. (I’m aware I’ve claimed every single one of these as my top favorites. I HAVE INDECISION PROBLEMS ALL RIGHT.)
If you still have noooo idea what type of character I’m talking about, perhaps my examples will make all things clear…
Peter Pan (Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie)
You really can’t get more chaotically whimsical than Peter Pan. He’s the boy who never grows up. The one who spends all his days playing games and forgets everything and hangs out with fairies and causes trouble everywhere he goes. And we love him.
The Mad Hatter (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll)
Do I even need to explain this one???? I adore every version of the Mad Hatter in existence. Always.
Kale (The DragonKeeper Chronicles by Donita K. Paul)
Kale is sliiightly more lowkey but I’d still say she has some whimsical chaos going. She’s very free-spirited. She comes from some pretty…off the wall parents (i.e. her mother tells her to wear pink in battle because it’ll catch the enemy off guard <---My hero right there), so she really can’t help but have some odd genes.
Howl (Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones)
Did you really think I’d only list Howl once? HA. But seriously now. Howl is such a strange person. Good luck trying to predict anything he’ll do or say next. And saying he causes chaos wherever he goes is an understatement. (Let’s not forget the time he covered his entire house in green slime…from a temper-tantrum.)
(Honorable mention goes to the Doctor from Doctor Who even though I keep telling myself to stick to book characters and failing miserable so here we are. But, come on, he’s the DOCTOR. He should make a cameo in everything in existence!)
. . .
As you can see, I’m very fond of a looooot of types of characters. If I hear tell there’s one of these characters in a book I’m all TAKE MY MONEY. I MUST HAVE IT. And this is not by any means an exhaustive list. AT ALL. If I listed all the types of characters I love we’d be here until the end of the century. I’m already thinking of types I can’t believe I didn’t add, but this post is getting as long as the yellow brick road. Sooo…perhaps there will be a part two someday???? ‘Cause you guys know I can talk about fictional characters ‘til the end of time. IT’S MY FAVORITE SUBJECT.
But I’m stopping now, I am!
YOUR TURN. Tell me one (or 12 billion) of your types of favorite characters to find in books. Do we share any? Or, on the flipside, did I list any you particularly dislike??? (I promise you won’t hurt my feelings! Who knows, I may even do a post on character types I don’t like sometime…?) Let us discuss our favorite fictional babies!!!