So on this Musings of a Lonely Writer post I am going to discuss the feeling behind a characters physical appearance vs. their personality. I am going to discuss whether a reader wants a beautiful character or a much more normal character or if it even matters. Could perhaps the personality matter more. Or is it a combination of both.
Okay so when I read a novel I read about so many types of characters but I always get the impression that the character is always perfectly perfect in some aspect, either he or she is handsome or beautiful in some way or they are gifted a perfect personality. In real life that is not always the case. But as I’ve said before the rules and aspects of real life and that of the worlds of books aren’t necessarily the same and don’t have to be.
In my writing I have discovered lately that my characters are these ethereal beautiful characters and sometimes that starts to bother me as I want to have a real character who struggles with not only physical but personality limitations. I mean I love characters that are so different then me and are everything I am not but I also want characters that are similar to real people, myself included.
So I have started writing a story called, “Death of the Heart Song” and my main character has an undesirable first name, Misery, and her physical traits and personality traits are lacking any sort of beauty or desirableness. She is often rude and crude and says what is on her mind and she doesn’t care who you are when she speaks her mind. She lives in a Kingdom that has beautiful musically inclined people and she has no musical abilities and is classified as ugly in her Kingdom. So later she butts heads with the Prince and becomes quite a distraction to him and she has no clue why.
Their relationship as trainer and teacher and as friends and would be lovers (they are about the same age, he has just turned 16 years old and she is about to turn 18 years old) is a fun one to explore and write about but their relationship is not the main part of the story. The Heart Song element is the main part but I won’t get into that long story. The reason I write this at all is to show I have now made a character that is classified as unattractive and I wonder how she would be perceived by a reader. Would her physical lack of beauty or her personality make a reader love or hate her more or would it be a combination of both or would neither matter all that much.
Also I want to point out I didn’t make her unattractive just for the sake of saying to myself or others that I now have an ugly character. She was undesirable and had flaws as she presented herself to me in a dream and I found it fresh and exciting to see a character that is different then most characters I have written about or read about before.
I wonder if young and old readers alike care more about the physical appearance of a character or the personality or does it matter at all. But I guess it probably varies by each person and by each story and how the author wants to present the said character and how the reader perceives said character.
Also do you think that authors present too perfectly perfect characters or just the right amount of perfect and flawed? I asked my mom and she said she doesn’t think that there are too many perfectly perfect characters. She also said that sometimes attractive traits, like in a romance novel, are sometimes a plus or needed but in other stories it really doesn’t matter.
So in books I wonder if the characters physical or personality traits even matter. I mean they matter a little bit. But I find a book with a much more normal flawed character in many ways is interesting and gives me more in-depth insight into that character and their world or story.
But the writer in me still finds beautiful glorious characters to be fun and intriguing. Personally I still think though that personality means more. My characters are so different personality wise but they are so interesting and funny or sassy or fiery or sweet or crude or bold or brave, ect. I think that what they say and how they say it is much more important and how they react to the good, bad, and ugly themes in their stories brings me closer to them then what they look like.
So beautiful or not or great personality or not I think how they handle themselves and what their story is and how they live it is much more important. And though looks and a good personality often matter I think how they handle themselves makes or breaks a character and makes the reader love or hate or love to hate the character. If an author can get characters to surpass ones ideas about what makes an ideal character then it impresses me and leaves a lasting impression on this lonely reader and makes me want to make the lonely writer in me push the boundaries of my character layouts.
Care to weigh in? Then please leave a comment in the comment section of this post!
Keep Writing! Keep Reading! And Keep Inspiring!