Monday, May 25, 2009
Blog Chain: Most intriguing
It's blog chain time again. Mary answered Michelle's question before me.
In your reading or writing do you prefer a main character that is intriguing or one that is likeable? Who are the characters that you love the most? And who are the ones that you love to hate?
Without a doubt, I go for the intrigue.
The one book came to mind when I really thought about this question was
"Good Omens: The Nice & Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
This story has a couple of main characters, Aziraphale and Crowley, who are the most intriguing fellows around.
To the human eye, Aziraphale is a rare book dealer. In actuality, he's an angel of God. Crowley is an angel of darkness.
Neither character has the quality of a likeable person. Instead of being loyal to their respective causes, they are driven by selfishness.
Upon discovering the anti-Christ is entering the world, the two angels from opposite sites of the net team up to bungle the apocalypse that God has so carefully planned. Aziraphale and Crowley like the world as it is; they aren't ready for it to end.
I love this book because the characters are intriguing. Their antics and the unique voice of the authors had me laughing so hard my stomach hurt. (My favorite line is the question making an obscure reference to ET: "Did any of them kids have some space alien with a face like a friendly turd in a bike basket?")
Another intriguing character I love is Meggie Cleary from another one of my favorite books, "The Thorn Birds" by Colleen McCullough. If I knew a girl like her in real life, I'd probably have a hard time liking her, but she definitely has flaws. For cryin' out loud, she cheats on her husband with a priest and doesn't feel bad about it. That's one messed up chick!
I guess it's no different than real life. I'm not a fan of people like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, but I have to admit I'm intrigued by their publicity stunts.
I think the fictional character that I love to hate the most would probably be Charles Dickens' Ebenezer Scrooge from "A Christmas Carol."
In her post, Michelle mentioned the fine balance between detestable and intriguing, and I think in that fine balance you'll find the reason why Scrooge is one of my favorite love-to-hate characters.
It's all about the point of view from which we see them.
If Scrooge's story had been told from the point of view of Bob Cratchett, readers would never have understood why he left work with a "Bah Humbug" on Christmas Eve and appeared at Cratchett's door with a warm heart and happy smile on Christmas morning . We certainly wouldn't believe he had a genuine change of heart without seeing the world through his eyes when he was visited by ghosts.
Getting the reader to understand the way a character interprets the world and why they act and react the way they do is the key to creating a flawed character that wins hearts.
What do you prefer?
Check out Christine's blog to see what she has to say.