View Single Post
Old Jan 9 2005, 08:23 PM   #37
Jesserli's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004

Default Re: Unlikeable Main characters (was titled Favorite USUAL Character?)

Originally Posted by Anareth

Uh...I can say a lot about flat characters. Anyone with half a brain and a decent knack for lit-crit could. The characters mentioned are 'flat' in the sense that a lot of them don't particularly grow. F'lar and Lessa did in DF, which is much better-written than later 9th Pass books (reflecting, perhaps, Anne's burnout?) but in following books, they're pretty much always the same. Other characters (the "good" guys, anyway) don't grow because they don't have to--Anne can't bear to make the little darlings be wrong or get SERIOUSLY hurt/denied. (How much you want to bet Golanth is going to make a miraculous recovery, or he'll use TK to fly Zarath, or they'll rediscover stand-ins? Because God forbid Tai have to suck it up and sleep with someone now she's in Luuuuv with F'lessan.) Moreta is a bizarre exception post-DF--she gets a moment of happiness in the midst of trauma, then sacrifices and doesn't get rewarded. In fact pretty much no one does, no matter how good they are. There's such a difference to the handling of characters in Moreta it boggles my mind that books like Renegades came from the same author.

Because we don't just accept everything an author does with sheep-like monotony because we like some of what they write? As for writing, it would be a fairly stupid discussion forum if we just sat around agreeing about how we just loved everything about something.

*applauds* Perfectly said.

Just as a note, there are plenty of flat characters that can lead to in-depth discussions. I can talk for hours about Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake, even though there isn't a single round character in the novel!

In many cases, flat characters are perfectly fine. When they are not the centerpoints of action, or are simply there for one specific purpose, it's fine. My beef with many of the Pern books are that MAIN characters are flat, for precisely the reason Anareth states - they're happy-fluffy books. Nothing really horrible ever happens to characters you actually like except in Moreta, and I suppose Skies (but that book was so dreadful I hardly even consider it when discussing the series). If nothing remotely like real life happens to the characters, how could they possibly develop?

I also don't like how each character is there to be completely one-sided almost all of the time. Take Lessa, for example. Lessa is a short angry person, even when she has no real cause to be angry. That rage has to stem from somewhere, and it just doesn't, which is illogical and throws a reader from the flow of the plot.
Jesserli is offline   Reply With Quote