Sunday, October 5, 2014

25 Blogger Round-Up Question Introduction & Giveaway


Hey, everyone – this is Becca, with a new post we are doing here on Adventures in YA Publishing. It’s similar to the Question of the Week, but geared toward the bloggers of the book blogging world. What do they like? Don’t like? Consider this the reader's side of the publishing coin and the writer’s inside guide to what bloggers look for in the books they end up loving and shouting about into the interwebz. Twice a month, I’ll be sending out a question to bloggers, and I’ll be posting their answers right here! Stick around for the epic giveaway at the bottom too! Want to be a part of our book blogger panel? Leave your blog name and contact details in the comments below! We’d love to have you! 

Question of the week: "Define what makes a character likable/unlikable. Do you have to 'like' the MC to continue a story? If not, what about the story would make you want to continue reading?"


"For me a likable character is often someone who is kind, thinks of others first and all that typical 'nice person' stuff. But it doesn't mean I'm not going to like a character if they make mistakes. In fact, a character who makes mistakes, who might be rude or does someone wrong, is more relateable. Someone I can more likely connect with because I feel we might have something in common. Being realistic is important. If a character is just mean, spoiled and constantly rude to everyone with no redeemable qualities I most likely will struggle with the book. However, if we see snippets of their true self, of them maybe regretting their actions, and then they start to grow, trying to be a better person, then I can usually stick with the story. If I just totally dislike everything about the character then the plot needs to be really, really intriguing or have something else totally amazing about it. But it's unlikely I will enjoy a story if the main character is one I just very strongly dislike."

- Candace, Candace's Book Blog, Twitter:  @candacemom2two


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"I think some, or maybe even most, people can read through the story if it has a good plot.
 
But what makes a book memorable and what makes you adore it at the end of the day is the characters. So personally I think if the book has no awesomecharacters, then it's not worth much. 


What makes a character likable is having a personality. It's as simple as that. What makes a character unlikable is when they don't have a personality, but the book seems to pretend they do. Every little thing they do is put under a microscope, and because they don't have a personality to explain their actions, people assume they're a selfish and horrible people. Which I think is fair enough. 


With YA books, people try to make the characters "normal teenagers". They think if the character is relatable then people will like them. Then why do a lot of people have villains that are some of their all-time favourite characters? I doubt they relate to them. I don't read a book seeing a teenage girl and think: she's a young adult and I'm a young adult! We relate so much to one another!

People love characters on a way more basic level. This character does something kind, I'm touched. This character does something cool, I'm in awe. This character says or does something funny, I laugh. At the end of the day, characters are supposed to be fun. You can do anything with them, so why do people go and make them normal? I'd rather go outside and see normal people in 3D than read a book if that were the case. 

Why do people love Harry Potter? There's a lot of reasons, but I feel at the end it boils down too how many awesome characters you can name. Most of the characters are wizards. They're not normal or really relatable. Do you love Snape or even Dumbledore any less because you can't relate to them? Dumbledore is epic, that's why I love him, and I love his presence in the series. Everyone cheered in the fifth movie when he put Umbridge in her place. Snape is hilarious and you grow very fond of him as you keep watching or reading and know there's more to him than meets the eye.  

You love characters because of how they make you react or feel, not because they remind you of yourself. Besides, I don't think there's a-size-that-fits-all relatable personality, and because there really isn't such a thing a lot of YA main characters come off as flat. All they have is the most general traits you can think of that can fit anyone really, like horoscopes, which does not make much of a consistent personality. Teenagers do not all have the same personality. That should be obvious. 

One of my all time favourite characters is the main character from the manga series Skip Beat!, Kyoko. She's an aspiring actress and one of the most hilarious/scary/awesome characters I've ever seen. And like hell she's a "normal girl". With female characters in particular, I feel people try to make them exactly like normal girls. What does "normal girl" even mean? Whatever you're thinking is already probably a cliche. I think with female characters, unlike males, they forget they're making a character. She can be scary, she can be funny, she can be cool, she can be anything. She does not have to be a shy girl with brown hair and eyes that doesn't know she's beautiful and special until a super hot guy comes around and tells her so. You know, because he chose her over all the other girls, those mean girls. I think these are book cliches at this point, "nice girls" and "mean girls". Those are such broad terms and I have no idea why there are only two categories of girls. 

So yeah, characters will always be the most important part in any story. I think most people can agree with that."

-Maria,  Fantasy's Ink, Twitter: @Fantasysink


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"For the most part, I think when people talk about a character being "likeable", they're talking about a character who would be comfortable at your lunch table, someone who would be voted into the Homecoming Court, someone who would get a superlative in the Yearbook like "Best Smile, "Biggest Class Clown," or "Most Likely To Succeed." This is a character you can be buddies with.


I don't need that. What I do need is a character I can respect and understand. A character can lie, whine, steal, cheat, whatever, but as long as the decisions are internally consistent, I'm willing to hold on. I can't stand illogic. If I don't understand, I won't care, and if I don't care, I won't stick around. Also, the character needs to show some kind of growth by the end of the story. If they haven't changed at all, then I have nothing to respect, and I'll feel like I've wasted my time."


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"In my opinion if I cannot connect with the main character then I usually end up not enjoying the story. The main character should bring out all the best in the story and should make you want to keep turning pages to find out what happens next. 

I have found that the only times I tend to "not like" the main character is when the main character is TOO emotional, whines a lot, or thinks only about themselves. I love to read a story where the main character is strong, powerful, intense, and knows when to express emotion. 

The only reason I would continue to read a story that has a main character that I do not like would be when there is another storyline that is also in the book and is intense and keeping my attention. I have done that before. I will skip through the chapters with the boring main character and move to the chapters that are interesting to me!"



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Sound off below! What do you think makes a character likeable/unlikeable? Do you have to 'like' the main character to continue the story? If not, what would compel you to finish it?


ENTER TO WIN: 

A copy of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and a copy of Between the Spark and the Burn. Plus an "I have a compulsion for reading" tote! 



25 comments:

  1. For me, a likable character is someone who cares about someone else - whether it's a sister, plant, whatever, just cares about someone else selflessly. Even if it's just that one person they care for, that's enough for me.

    It's fine for them to make mistakes, be thieves, scammers, whatever - as long as they accept that about themselves, that they are doing whatever bad thing they're doing, that there is self-realization, even if they continue acting in a less than "ethical" way.

    Awesome interviews!!

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  2. For me a character has to be someone I want to spend my time with, while reading the book. That means it could be someone "likable" in the conventional sense, or just compulsively interesting. I agree that nonstop selfishness is a big turn-off for me, unless it is accompanied by some sort of growing awareness and evolution.

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  3. I don't always have to like a character to continue onward. Especially if there are other likable things about the novel. However, there are times when one completely puts me off for one reason or another. It just depends on the book.

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  4. A likable character is one that I can relate and sympathize with. I don't like characters who are super dramatic/hurt others.

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  5. I cannot wait to read these books!

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  6. I really want to read Between the Spark and the Burn! I read Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea awhile ago after borrowing it from a friend and now I need the sequel! :)

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  7. There has been many a times wen imnot a compete fan of thMC but as long as they dont act with out thinking and sem auhentic im all in! Case in pont. I love Cassie from Compulsion shes awful but i still can undersand hr chrecters motives.

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  8. From reading a lot of anti-hero books this year, what keeps me reading about a character is someone who cares about others. Or if they don't care about others, the reason is one which makes me feel sympathy for them. I have come across a few books where the main character seemed totally self-centered and have been unable to read more than a few chapters of them.

    I would like to be involved in your book blog panel. My blog is Allison's Book Bag and contact details are found at the bottom of this page: http://allisonsbookbag.wordpress.com/request-a-review/

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  9. Great interview questions! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  10. For me, a character has to be have some vulnerability, some flaws, something to overcome and be successful in some way doing so.

    I would like to be part of your book blog panel. My blog is The Write Stuff and you can find it here: http://rosihollinbeckthewritestuff.blogspot.com/

    You can reach me at rosihollinbeck (at) yahoo (dot) com. Thanks!

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  11. I like a character with authenticity, which includes flaws.

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  12. thanks for the fun post and giveaway! I have to feel like I would want to meet/befriend the character in real life in order to "like" them. Or if I don't like the character, I keep reading just because I've become invested in their story due to a very well written story :)

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  13. Loved the first book and can't wait to read the second one!

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  14. For me, a good character is one who has a head on his/her shoulders. She isn't infallible, and she does make mistakes (because good guys who are always GOOD guys aren't much fun to read about). But she's intelligent. She doesn't do stupid things over and over again (like fall in love with that guy who is obvious wrong, but he's so hot!) for the sake of the plot. She's strong, and can stand on her own two feet, but she also isn't too proud or afraid to accept help when she needs it. She's open-minded, and can changer her perspective of the world as her story's events unfold.

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  15. Would love to win this giveaway. I love reading and am excited about this.

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  16. I am so looking forward to reading this series! One of my friends is a hardcore advocate for it, and has been bugging me to read it already! I really cannot wait to finally accept her challenge. And it makes it even better knowing that we love the same books about 99% of the time! Thank you so much for the giveaway!

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  17. I stopped writing a novel because I did not like my main character, and I couldn't stand to be in her head anymore!

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  18. Hi Becca! Ihe i'd love to be a part of the blogger panel. My blog name is Please Feed the Bookworm
    http://kalebsmome.blogspot.com
    @kalebsmome
    email brittersweet83@aol.com
    Thanks Britt

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  19. I guess it depends on the genre, and the motives of the character. I do enjoy novels more when I relate to the character in some way.

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  20. how they're written; probably not continue reading

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  21. Just like others, a character who has flaws or who isn't the epitome of "everything" (that is, every single character trait out there is just likeable. Unlikable is just when they succeed in almost every aspect that they have surpassed the point of existence in their world. Do we have to like the main character? Nope. I'd just be compelled to finish a book with a character I didn't like only if the book was way more interesting to me.

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  22. It's really important for me to like a character. I couldn't get into Divergent because Tris just wasn't likeable. "Likeable" is a vague word, but to me they have to care about something deeply, just have a good moral compass.

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  23. I usually have to at least like the main character. For some reason, I my favorite characters in books/shows are usually secondary characters for some reason so if I love the other characters and I just am so/so about the main character I will usually continue reading.

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  24. It's hard for me to really enjoy the book if I don't the main character. One factor that makes me determines how much I love a book is the connections to the characters. If they annoy me or I just don't connect to them then that definitely hinders my like for the book.

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Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)