A fascinating question because I used to intentionally make my characters Mary Sues. As a former child who used to write, for a while I never understood why people would give character traits they disagree with to the character or characters who are supposed to represent what is right in your world, since they’re the ones unfolding the story’s solution. This had the side effect of my main character being nicer than me, and sometimes my parents would remark to me “why can’t you be like your main character”, which had the side effect of putting me on the fast track to self-improvement. Anyone else?

  • Count Regal Inkwell@pawb.social
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    8 days ago

    Self confidence

    Whatever other qualities I give them, whatever qualities or flaws I have, I write about characters who are comfortable being who they are and know what they want. Which is like the polar opposite of my terrified-of-my-own-shadow ass

  • nicgentile@lemmy.world
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    8 days ago

    I write about bad guys. All my characters are bad guys. One is greedy and manipulative, whereas the other one is a violent sociopath, while the other is a womaniser and finally a thrill junkie who loves to watch people get beat up. I’m working on the aspect that the sociopath and thrill junkie are also serial arsonists.

    I don’t agree with what my characters do, but they represent an untold story. I have little interest in making my characters likeable and instead more like the person they are supposed to be. Bad guys.

    • ouRKaoS@lemmy.today
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      8 days ago

      There is something likeable in people that stick to their guns no matter what, though. I can respect a crazy, unlikeable bastard that doesn’t go easy on someone because of some societal norm.

  • pugsnroses77@sh.itjust.works
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    8 days ago

    ive always like realistic characters. its what i struggle most with in modern tv. i like to see progress being made on a problem/relationship through real conversations and disagreements. i find a lot of kids shows charming for this when characters have to work to solve seemingly simple problems. i tend to get annoyed at shows that have problems caused by people doing the dumbest, pettiest things that no real person would ever actually do (in theory… some people amaze me). e.g. netflix shows that can run 4 seasons on someone having a psychotic revenge scene. like who does that??

  • Sanctus@lemmy.world
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    8 days ago

    It depends on the character. I never write perfect characters. Most of my characters are extremely flawed individuals whose flaws lead to the issues in the story, or contribute to a wider plot of some kind. I look at real people and ideals, try to get on their side even if I hate it, and make a character with those viewpoints. One thing all my characters have is sacrifice and the chance of redemption. All of my characters go through some sort of personal sacrifice to achieve their goals, not all of them redeem themselves even if there is always the chance. I do make that pathway visible to the reader. I feel it gets people in the mindset of a complete other, or at least helps them make sense of a differing thought process. And yes, I make doubly sure to do this with characters who are designed to be hated.

  • tiramichu@lemm.ee
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    8 days ago

    Tenacity.

    I hope(!) that I personally have some good qualities, but tenacity is a pretty tricky one for me. The ability to keep plugging away at something and never give up no matter how difficult, no matter how small your progress towards your goals.

    My main characters can have many and varied flaws, but tenacity is a common virtue.