If an individual has a unique personality or look, they will be called a character at some point in time. In a story, anything can be a character. The only requirement is that the author has imbued it with some ability to affect the story, maybe not even affect, maybe just a perceived ability. The difference between real life and a story is the characters are…. It could be likeable, attractive, brave, sexy, or any one of a thousand other traits. How should I decide which characters to use? A hero, a sidekick, villain, a regular person, a kid any of these could work.
Everyone loves a hero right? It doesn’t seem like that to me at least not anymore. Historic fiction contains the original heroes. Do remember Beowulf swimming out in the ocean to fight the sea monsters? Maybe not, it was a small detail in the overall story, but that is a pretty tuff thing to do even on a bet I am not interested. The male hero had a good run for sure, but the times are a changing. If you want to trot out a hero, he better be inept for a good portion of the story at the very least. Society no longer swoons for the white knight. Harry Potter enters a victim moves on into a lucky ineptitude, and then finally the hero comes out in the last books. I wonder if Voldermort will get him or not. The world may never know, it’s as clear as the number of licks a Tootsie Pop contains. A theory of mine is that Harry kills Vold, but dies in the process making him the ultimate martyr. In reading the last books, it felt like J.K. was tired of Harry or maybe Harry’s death made her sad or maybe I am just writing my own fiction. Who knows and I have strayed from my original thought. Does superman have a bad reputation? No, He is still the spotless embodiment of the classic hero, but his appeal has waned.
A quick emasculation is an idea. A female character, a heroine, can gain skill and power at any rate without losing appeal. An interesting combination is classic male heroes with an inept female hero as the lead. I am talking about Janet Evanovich’s Ms.Plum. She is not exactly inept in fact, but professes it enough thru the book to make the statement true enough. It works and Evanovich can write sexy on top of comedy like no other. She’s a marvel to enjoy. I think Plum should have red hair and when I am in charge she’s getting a dye job drapes and carpet. I am getting ready to read a new novel by Melinda McGuire Josephine Red dirt and Whiskey. I will give it a review after I finish it in the meantime you can look her up at firstname.lastname@example.org. I wonder who Josephine is and what she is all about. The novel is set during the great depression. The great depression was a hellish time to live, but a fertile period to write. A heroine is a good choice, maybe now is the heroines day it seems possible as more are emerging every day.
All the rest can fall into one of the two categories with close enough scrutiny. A few may fit both categories if they possess a suitable sexual crisis. The most desirable characters to me are normal stock, uniquely flawed in personality or appearance. I hold no strong convictions here only my thoughts written down to clarify them for me.