I think we can all agree that our love for a particular story has to do with waaaay more than just the plot. Don’t get me wrong, everyone loves a fast-paced, intricate, well-planned plot. After all, if there ISN’T a good plot, then the story will stink…
…no matter how awesome the characters themselves are.
But this doesn’t change the fact that being able to connect with characters is something awesome and extremely special. Great characters make stories meaningful to us in a personal way; great characters make stories memorable; they can even change the way we view life or ourselves.
Having unique but relatable characters in your story is something every writer should strive for.
I am therefore proud to share that my series, back when it used to be called The Golden Lands, has been praised for having characters that are both human but morally-inspiring. Nowadays, it can be hard to find characters that can be both.
If a character is too “human”, perhaps they lack the ability to inspire us to be better. If a character is too upright or saintly, everyone rolls their eyes and thinks, “This is unrealistic.”
How do my characters fit into both categories?
John Hedekira is the main character of my series. Throughout the series, John struggles with feelings of vengeance towards his enemies, anger towards his friends, confusion within himself and towards his family, and emotional insecurity about his (lack of) parents. Sometimes he’ll make a poor decision when it comes to intense moral dilemmas, acting off of his gut instead of what’s right.
But John is also very brave. And he stands up for others when they can’t. He wants to help to people, still possessing a sense of child-like (but not childish) sense of innocence and heroism that we all should have. He makes up for his wrongs and he exercises forgiveness and justice.
I remember having a conversation with my dad and older brother about the characters of Avatar: The Last Airbender. We decided that there was something extremely unique and humbling about the sense of heroism that Aang and Zuko and the other characters had. Why? Because they were just kids/teenagers.
I think that some people tend to brush off the pure, inspirational effect that kids can have on us. Avatar: The Last Airbender is an example of how younger characters are able to teach us some big lessons…and just because the lessons come from younger characters doesn’t make the lessons any less true.
I’m not saying that Elithius is like Avatar. Elithius is more mature and way darker on a number of levels. I’m simply drawing a comparison because both stories have young-adult characters.
Here’s what some people have said about the characters in my series:
“This is a well-paced story with compelling main characters and plenty of action”-Smashwords Review
“…John Hedekira and Faith Pinck are both realistic characters with depth, and the story is fast-paced and exciting…”-Smashwords Review
“…The characters are very realistic and the action scenes are amazing…”-Smashwords Review
“…John and Faith’s characters continue to become more developed, and the action scenes are brilliant…”-Smashwords Review
“…The book is well written. The characters, landscape, and especially fight scenes are artfully described by the author…”-Amazon Review
What do you think? What’s your opinion on character structuring?