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Characters
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 4708

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xina wrote:

Pretty ring! I want one. Laughing Linda, do you post on the Ladies Of Lallyboch board? I think I've been going there longer than I've been posting here. I mostly just post on the Reading Recommendations board, which has been really helpful to me over the years in finding books other than romance, but still with a romance in the books. I think they had, still have a Bronze Horseman disussion group. I know they are big into every Outlander and it's a lot of fun there to read all the info about the books and "Herself".


It is pretty, better than the one they tried the first time around. I haven't been to the LOL books board in ages, I posted there several years ago. I remember doing the QOTD for a week and that was a lot of fun. Their reading rec board is very useful, I can see why you'd like to visit there.

Linda
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Maggie AAR



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 2506

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Characters Reply with quote

dick wrote:
I've noticed that many posters comment on characters in books as if those characters were real people.


I can't say that I think of the characters as real people so much as this technique of discussing them enables me to bring up issues I have about them in an easy to relate to manner (if that makes any sense).

Additionally, I think the ultimate standard for a character is how much life a writer can breathe into them. The more real and life like, the more I feel like I know someone like them or that I can relate to them on some level, the more human the character reads to me, the higher my praise for the author's work.

maggie b.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Characters Reply with quote

maggie b. wrote:
Additionally, I think the ultimate standard for a character is how much life a writer can breathe into them. The more real and life like, the more I feel like I know someone like them or that I can relate to them on some level, the more human the character reads to me, the higher my praise for the author's work.

I like this description the best so far, maggie. Of recent issue, the best examples I can use for just these kinds of characters would be Robyn Carr's Grace Valley and Virgin River series. At times, many of those people seemed real enough that I felt I knew them. It was easy to imagine their lives because of her way of writing them.
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MarianneM



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 374
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:53 pm    Post subject: Characters Who are Real ... Reply with quote

There are a few favorite characters in the genre who seem so real to me that I want to know them, and continue to know them. They are so consistently written that I never have that momentary jolt one gets when a character steps out of -- well, 'character.'

Part of this is because the author shows me the little things, the "defects of his virtues" which make him, or her, more real. Take Jack Sheridan of Robyn Carr's Virgin River series, for instance. What a marvelous hero he is.... a much decorated Marine, a man of modesty and great charm, sexy and strong and just a good man all the way around.

But he leaps off the page when you begin to know his quirks, his humanity. He's a bit of a hound with women, but is careful to be fair and not lead them on. He's a neat freak about his bar and his apartment, keeps everything shipshape -- and uses Downy on his laundry. He looks after the people in his little town, the old, the infirm. If he's going to drive to another town for supplies, he contacts those folks who are fragile or older and gets lists of what they need. When he sees the heroine for the first time, he's just knocked endways by the attraction. So first he fixes up the tumble-down cabin in the woods for her, and then he honorably goes to the next town where his occasional lady-friend lives and breaks off the relationship. And this is before he begins his relationship with the heroine, or even knows whether he has a chance with her. That's honorable, and kind.

At one point Melinda, the heroine, says in exasperation, "Jack, you're such a Mother Hen about people." He is, and I love that, but it's the "defect of his virtue" of alpha protectiveness, so it makes him all the more real. His Marines, the men he has commanded in all of his deployments, are very important to him. When Mike, one of his soldiers, is shot and gravely injured in Los Angeles, he drives down from the little town to be with him, and sits with him every night for a week, while Mike is still in a coma, talking to him, being there for him until he comes out of the coma.

All these quirks and qualities make Jack very real to me -- not a cardboard hero but a man I'd love to know.

That's good writing, friends ... really good writing. And it's why I've read this series and re-read it more than twice. It's like a visit with friends you know and cherish, and they're never boring.

MarianneM
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Anne Hume



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 152
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:15 am    Post subject: Re: Characters Reply with quote

maggie b. wrote:
Additionally, I think the ultimate standard for a character is how much life a writer can breathe into them. The more real and life like, the more I feel like I know someone like them or that I can relate to them on some level, the more human the character reads to me, the higher my praise for the author's work.


Yes, I agree. And I think, for example, that Dorothy Dunnett did a brilliant job breathing life into the character of Francis Crawford. He has always fascinated me since I discovered the Lymond Chronicles and continues to do so up to now. And while I know that my favourite characters are fictional, I cant help but wish that they are real. And I do want to give Francis Crawford a hug from time to time.

xina wrote:
I suspect many who love Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles feel the same about Lymond. At least that is the impression I get when this series is discussed.


Yes, we certainly do. Laughing Laughing At the Yahoo Marzipan group, we discussed our interest with FC not so much as being obsessed (it sounds rather creepy) but that we are bewitched instead.

Linda in sw va wrote:
Lymond came alive for me certainly when reading the series, it felt like I was living and breathing him. *G* I would count him as the second best hero I've ever read but yet there is something about him that keeps him at a little more of a distance. And while I do think of Lymond from time to time I think of something Jamie and Claire related nearly every day.


While Jamie Fraser is also my favourite, I still prefer Lymond. Jamie is a bit of a watered down version of Francis Crawford IMO. Hes a good, honest, brilliant and honourable man and you know that from the start. Hes very much easy to figure out. With Lymond, you never quite know what you are getting at. You really have to dig deeper to find the real man inside.
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Skrabs



Joined: 16 Apr 2008
Posts: 387
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dunnett was a master. I love how she made Lymond so individual and fully realised and yet hardly any of the scenes in the books are from his point of view! I had to pack all of my books away recently and store them and I made sure the Lymond Chronicles were put in plastic boxes and not cardboard just in case they got damaged. Very Happy I re-read at least once a year and once I'm done he lingers in my head for ages (in a non-creepy manner). Even though I know its coming that scene in Pawn in Frankincense is the most heartbreaking thing I think I've ever read - I actually just teared up writing this.

I feel almost bad admitting this but the Gabaldon series is something I just cannot get into. I tried Outlander several years ago and I think I returned it to the library without finishing it. So I tried again last year and made myself read it and... it was okay. Jamie and Claire are so beloved but I just thought them both unremarkable. (ducking for cover). And whilst I'm being blasphemous I've never gotten the appeal of Eve and Roarke but then I struggle with most of Robert's novels.
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