Seething

So here’s a general question open to discussion, that I hope my readers will get involved with:

What is it that makes you hate a character in a book?

What is it that makes you simply seethe and want that character dead (or worse, expelled!)

I must plea self-serving purposes, I sort of want a general consensus on why certain characters are annoying to a large number of readers. Mainly so in my second book (which I am writing) my annoying character can be really annoying to MANY people and not just a select few.

I’m going more for villainous types, like Dolores Umbridge, but Bella in Twilight is also a reasonable answer! 😉

Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

-JMS

2 Comments

  1. If you make your character completely evil, he/she will become two-dimensional, cartoonish, & totally unbelievable. The character may then become laughable instead of hated. (Think Lex Luther.) On the other hand, the protagonist should have some flaws.

    I think you need to decide what is hateful to you so that you can write from your own feelings. There are so many different reasons people will hate a character. I could think of 100 books, TV shows or movies and come up with 500 character traits I dislike.

    I would guess that most hateful characters are self-serving and take advantage of others to some extent or other. (There are dozens of specific ways that can be done.) They know that the good guys care about other people. They don’t, so they usually have the upper hand, at least for a while.

    My response to the Weekend Linkup at Write on Edge can be found here:
    http://proartz.blogspot.com/2009/02/wrong-side-of-tracks.html
    Please stop by.

  2. I don’t like whiners in real life and I’m not inclined to invite them into my head via books. Poor-me victim types don’t make me want to read more, either. It’s fine for characters to be down and even to wallow a little, but then I need them to get up and get on with it.

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