Lola’s Rambings is a feature on Lola’s Review where I talk about me or ramble on about a book or non-book related topic. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like blog tours, book blitzes, cover reveals or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are are personal discussions of a certain topic. Sometimes about book related topics and sometimes about non-book related topics. This feature was previously known as About Me. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.
Last week I talked about what I like to see in romance. When writing that post I realized I was basically listing things I often would point out in my reviews and as most of my reviews have four different sections: story, characters, romance and world building. I thought it would be a good idea to have a post focus on each of those. Today I am going to talk about characters, basically I am going to talk about what kind of characters I like to read about, what makes me like a character and which points I might make in my reviews when it comes to characters. I think characters are very important in a book, because if I don’t like or care about the main characters it can be hard to enjoy the book overall.
What Characters do I Like to Read About?
- Realistic. One of the things I like most is when a character is realistic. I initially had a post planned about why I prefer realistic characters over strong characters as I often notice in other people their reviews they mention if a character was strong, while I primarily focus on if they are and acted realistic. I am not sure if I ever will write that post, but basically I want characetrs to feel realistic. I want them to feel real and can imagine they are real people. I don’t want to roll my eyes when they do something someone would never do in real life. It’s okay to be afraid or whiny sometimes, as long as the character feels real to me. I want to be able to imagine this person really existing and not only saying and acting like people do in books, but not in real life.
- Likeable. I know likeable is a very vague concept and I can’t really explain what makes a character likeable, but what I mean is that when I like a character that’s a good thing. I might not agree with the decisions a character makes or what they do, but as long as they are still a likeable character I probably will enjoy reading about them.
- Complex/ Depth. Complex characters are my favourite type of characters to read about, you can’t simply describe who they are in a short snetence as they have layers and react differently in different situations. They have depth and aren’t just a pretty face or the happy friend, they have more layers than that. I like reading about complex characters as there is more to discover and I like that. I also don’t believe that real people are that simple to describe, so complex characters also feel more real to me, which ties in with the first point.
- Relateable. This isn’t a must, but it certainly helps when I can relate to a character. The more aspects a character and I have in common, the easier it is to relate to that character. I often mention whether I can relate to the character, but even if I can’t I can still like the character. But if I do relate to a character it often makes me like that character more too.
- Flawed. I like characters who are flawed, not only does it make them more realistic and relateable, as most people are flawed and I like to read about character who are flawed as well. I like knowing they aren’t perfect, or are afraid sometimes or make mistakes. It also makes them a more interesting characetr in my opinion.
- Caring. I like characters who are caring and care about other people. It’s hard to care about character who doesn’t care about anything. Mostly what I like is seeing about who and what they care most and how that affects their personality and how they act.
- Animal Lovers. Being an animal lover myself, I have a soft spot for characters who love animals and care about them. I also like it when animals play a part in the story.
- Surprise Me. I like it when a character can surpise me, preferable in a good way. Overal it’s nice to know a character, but they still are able to susprise you.
- Have a reason/ motivation. I like it when I feel and get insight into the reasons and motivation of a character and why they act a certain way. Usually with the main character this is done well, but less so with side characters. I often feel that side characters or even villains act a certain way to get the main to react, but there’s no reason or motivation behind it. I want characters to have a reason for acting or behaving in a certain way. I want them to have a motivation for the things they do. This also ties in with my first point again, I want the side characters to feel realistic as well.
- Have their own life. This mostly applies to side characetrs. I sometimes feel that side characters their lives are on a standstill unless they interact with the main characters. I like getting the feleing that side characters have their own lives and that things do happen in their lives even if the main character isn’t there.
- Thoughts and Feelings. One of the things I like most about reading is getting in another person their head and reading about what they think and feel. I am very interested in people and how they experience live, but the only way to get a taste of this is by reading. Reading gives me a way to get into another person their head. So that’s why I like to get a feel for their thoughts and feelings. Also why I like first eprosn perspectve as in that case there’s usually more focus on this, I ofte feel closer to the thoughts and feelings of that character. I like characters who thoughts and feelings we get to know as opposed to people who only act and talk.
- Past, present and future. I like characters who have a past, present and future. Yeah there I go again with the vague descriptions. What I mean with this is that I like to know or realize that characters have a past and future, beside the present. In a book we often only come in contact with what’s happening now, but getting hints of what happened in the past or what will happen next is one of the things I like and again what makes characetrs feel more real to me. I want to realize that there are things that happened in a characters past and see how those still effect their lives now and how what they do now can influence the future. A reason why I like epilogues as they give me a glimpse of their future.
- Stay in character. I like it when everything a character does fits with his or her character. I like it when character surprise me, but I don’t like it when they do something that doesn’t fit their character or what we know of them.
- Relationships with other characters. I think a character relationships with others and how they interact with them can say a lot about a character and I like to read about characters who have connections to other people and how those influence their character and behaviour.
- Characters I care about. When I care about the characters it often makes me feel more invested in the story and what happens to the characters. Often with books I DNF I point not caring about the characters or story as one of the things that made me DNF the book. While when I care about the characters I often enjoy the book as a whole more.
Not every character needs to have all of these, but there are some of these that are very important in whether I like a character or not, mostly if they are realistic and likable. Usually one of these things listed here can already make me like a character, but the more things of this list a character has the more I probably like them.