- Persistence. Unquestionably the most important. The great thing is it applies to villains too. The most interesting villains in fiction are those who not only believe in their cause, they follow through with it.
- Hard Work. Goes hand in hand with persistence.
- Loyalty. Does anyone ever like a traitor? I think not! I love Sam Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings for his unquestioning loyalty (really put to the test too).
- Acknowledging weaknesses but carrying on with quest regardless. That sums up Frodo! But the truly great characters readily acknowledge the help they get from others makes all the difference to how successful they are.
- Capacity for love. Not necessarily the romantic type. Any character that can care for others, sometimes even objects, has the capacity for greatness. And again it can apply to villains. What do they really care about they will do anything for? That is the core of a really great story. Even when that love is misdirected, the character will be of interest because of what they will do to defend/protect what they feel they should here.
Hearing the wonderful news Andy Murray has become men's tennis world number one (brilliant news!), it is so heartening to see how his hard work and persistence have paid off. And in fictional characters, I am especially fond of those who don't give up and face down every obstacle in their way. (Indeed there's precious litle story without that trait). So what character traits do I think are the most important then?
My Chandler's Ford Today post for this week is called My Top 10 Classical Music Greats and got me thinking about the role music can play in fiction. I've had a brief look at this in my This World and Others website where my blog Musical Tastes looks at how classical music could be viewed in your fictional world, who is allowed to learn how to play and so on. For this post though, I want to look at how music is enjoyed by the people in your stories.
Is your world developed enough to have radio so music reaches people that way? Alternatively do your characters go to concerts and how easy is it for them to get to these? Are the orchestras state sponsored and deliberately sent out by your government to entertain the masses to ensure there are no political protests and so on?
Can the musicians play whatever they like or do they have to stick to a repetoire? What are the consequences if they do not do this? There should be some good story ideas here!
The last thing any magical world needs is unqualified magical beings let loose all over the place. The damage they could cause is immense. Hence the need for magical schools, universities and so on. So what would be the basic magical tests for competence? Allowing there would be exams in specialist subjects, everyone in my fictional Fairy Kingdom would have to prove competent in the following.
I don't really have a favourite time of the year given I see things to love about all of the seasons. Right now I'm loving the autumn leaf colours and walking through the leaves when taking the dog out. But the thought of this led me to wonder about fictional seasons and times. Do they match ours or are they radically different?
What are your characters' favourite times of the year and why? My late grandmother always used to hate autumn because she associated it with dying things and yes she too died in the autumn. Could your characters' preferences here reveal more about them and their general state of mind?
How does your fictional world handle the change of seasons? Are they unmarked or are there special events to mark each one?
I'm Allison Symes and I write novels, short stories as well as some scripts and poems. I love setting my work in my magical world, the Fairy Kingdom, and my favourite character is Eileen, who believes hypocrisy is something that happens to other people without caring that statement is hypocritical in itself! Eileen is huge fun to write for and about.