Tag Archives: ficitonal character traits

Loud #atozchallenge

Fictional character traits

Loud – noisy, flashy.

The loud, wacky sidekick can make or break a story. Since loud is an auditory business, it’s more apparent in movies, although characters can be loud in choice of attire or personality. If a vocally loud character must exist, I like his appearance kept to a minimum, because who likes the noisy type?

In Fifth Element, Ruby is simply annoying in all sorts of ways. Loud, crude, and too much. For no good reason, even if one is made up.

A different type of loud comes via the helpless, screaming woman in films like King Kong. Naomi Watts spends so much time screaming for her life, I’d rather mute the thing and pop another pain reliever.

For a book character, I see exclamation marks meant to convey loudness. Not a fan. Not because of rules, but exclamation marks translate as shortcuts. I’d rather understand the reason for loudness:

1.   Cultural — in certain cultures people are loud. Or they sound loud to those from quieter places. 

2.   Anger. If anger is conveyed, dialogue is the vehicle. Good dialogue.

3.   Dialect. I’ve listened to an Appalachian song where the word well was yelled out in such a way that is sounded like it ended with a. Louder than all sounds, much louder.  As if the singer was suffering — exactly the intention, I assume: portray internal angst.

Images: pixabay, google

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Kind #atozchallenge

Fictional character traits

Kind — opposite of jerk (previous post). Likeable, goodhearted.

We love the good guy, but characters who help the good guy are true kind souls. They’re never selfish, and by the end of the story, they own our hearts.

Grandpa Joe in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

He is loving, wise, and willing to part with the last of his money for the golden ticket. Does he win our hearts? I would say, yes.

In RJ Palacio’s Wonder, the power of kindness comes from supporting characters that fill us with emotions. Summer, the popular, smart girl, impervious to bullies, sits with Auggie, the disfigured child, at lunch. Hangs out with him after school.

If you have a middle-school child, or know one you love, do yourself a favor and read Wonder together. Some characters (children) portray kindness so well, they inspired Kindness Day in corners of the world. The story is about a disfigured child who wants to be accepted, a goal possible with help from friends.

Writing the type is emotionally draining if based on someone dear. The kind, ill mother I wrote in Stranger or Friend, was based on a family member who left us too soon. The initial thought of writing her in the story wasn’t easy, but having known her gentle heart helped uncork emotions in a cathartic explosion.

Whether love or sadness or nostalgia, emotion via kind characters gives context all its meaning.

Images:acedmagazine, wiki, pixabay

Daring #atozchallenge

Fictional character traits

Daring — Bold, brave, dauntless

When we say daring we might think Batman or Superman, but I like internal bravery. A character holding a certain belief strongly, willing to endanger safety and life itself to see it come to fruition.

The character in Rosa Park, for example. A daring portrayal, not surprising given the real-life woman herself.  Angela Bassett, who always walks boldly into roles, proves how a character ought to be portrayed. Not by over acting. And likely not by accepting an overwritten script. By embracing the story, letting it be told via internal emotion done in measure.

Daring is also distance runner Steve Prefontaine (Jared Leto) who disregards conventional wisdom and follows his own plan: run as fast as you can. A hero among running enthusiasts. A champion’s champion who inspired runners and writers alike.

Or Julie Andrews, a singular onscreen presence in Victor Victoria (1892).

Andrews takes apart her character then puts it back together with layers of daring style and lighthearted comedy superbly written. Because any writer worth her salt knows a story, particularly one set in a cabaret, will bore the reader to tears if too serious.

We need balance.

In my view, this character, irrespective of what she endures, needs to be made whole again in life or in memoriam. This is the type of fictional character we root for.

Images: yahoo, pixabay, madevibrant