Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Enduring Characters

Over the long holiday weekend, the DH and I went to the new Star Trek movie. Ok, I'll 'fess up. I am a trekkie. I've loved STAR TREK since I was a kid. I so totally bought into those lame special effects for the original TV show. (I think we brought a little more imagination to our TV watching then!)

And I loved this new movie too. The new actors all ramped up the "hot-o-meter" by several orders of magnitude compared to the originals and the special effects were so completely believable, I had to bring no imagination to the experience at all. But the reason I loved the movie had nothing to do with those things.

It's because the story was about all the characters I loved as a kid--Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Chekov, Sulu, Scotty and Dr. McCoy. Each time one of them appeared you could almost hear all the trekkies in the theatre sigh in collective satisfaction. It really didn't matter what the story was. It was all about the characters. We were there for them.

As a writer, that's a good lesson for me to keep in mind. No matter how cleverly plotted a book is, only a beloved character will keep a reader coming back.

Who are your favorite characters? Is there a character you've invested your heart in?

9 comments:

Rachel E. Moniz said...

Hi Emily!
Great post.

Scarlett and Rhett will always be characters that I care about. Gone With the wind has had two sequels and even if the plot got a wee bit far-fetched at times, I wanted to know what happens.

So far everyone who has seen Star Trek in my circle of friends has raved about it! Maybe I will give in and watch it.

Rachel

EmilyBryan said...

Two characters who will always have my heart are Ashton and Anjuli Bai from MM Kaye's THE FAR PAVILLIONS. In my mind, they are still wandering Hindu Kush, having adventures without me.

Cindy Holby said...

Jamie and Claire from the Outlander series. And young Ian. And Roger and Brianna. But mostly Jamie.

Mari said...

I love Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables!

Penelope said...

Hi Emily! First of all, I loved the new Star Trek movie except I did not think that the Romulan bad guy was bad enough. Think Borg-bad. And, as far as characters I have fallen in love with....how about Nephret and Ramses from Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody series...I have dreamt about them after reading her books! Elizabeth Peters is brilliant and that entire series is wonderful.

Penelope said...

Oh my God, I just thought of another awesome couple! (Now I am going to be totally preoccupied with this all day long...thanks a lot, Emily!). How about Sara Fielding and Derek Craven from Lisa Kleypas' book Dreaming of You. I LOVE them! Especially Derek...what a great character!

EmilyBryan said...

Cindy, I'm with you on Jamie, but I have to imagine him without red hair. I had a bad experience with a red-headed guy when I was in college (sort of a stalking situation) so now any "dreaded red-headed man" pegs out my ick-o-meter. (Imagine how hard it is for me to watch CSI Miami?!?)

Mari--My girls and I read Anne of Green Gables aloud and how we all wept together when Matthew Cuthbert died. That's a memorable character.

Penelope--About the Romulan, I beg to differ a bit. His reason for being so evil was compelling, but that's what makes him a good villain, IMO. The best villains might be the hero but for a few bad choices. He suffered a deep personal tragedy so the universe has to suffer with him. I can pity his pain, but because he deals with it in such a heinous way, he's not hero material. But it makes him a realistic villain instead of a sad cartoon.

I'll have to look for Elizabeth Peters. I've not read her.

Nynke said...

Oh, Emily, you're a trekkie too?That's so cool! (I'm saying this because I am as well, obviously).

I regularly really start to care about the characters in books I read, but still manage to forget their names afterwards (I'm that bad with names). So here's a soulful couple I looked up: Georgina Maitland and Harry Pye from Elizabeth Hoyt's The Leopard Prince. Star-crossed lovers, *sigh*...

EmilyBryan said...

The Leopard Prince was my first Elizabeth Hoyt novel too. Love her!