What I've Been Up To and A Question

Shawnee Bluff Winery Overlooking Lake of the Ozarks

Hello! I've been scarce in the blogosphere the last few weeks. What have I been doing, you ask? Well, I...

  • Vacationed at Lake of the Ozarks with friends. Our boat stalled! Adventures abound!
  • Repainted the apartment
  • Dug up some fascinating research while brainstorming my next WIP. No, not actual digging, but how cool would that be?!
  • Saw Guardians of the Galaxy. Yes, it's as good as you've heard!
  • ...And read a lot. Boy, do I need to get caught up on Goodreads.

It's that last one that raised a question for me, and I thought I'd throw it out to you guys. I noticed a trend in myself while reading a few books lately. I kept liking characters I'm pretty sure the author didn't want me to like! 

This wasn't a "we love to hate them" villain scenario either, aka Loki. In both instances most recently, the characters I liked were key secondary characters--flawed to be sure, yet often friendly foils to the MC--but the MCs for various reasons didn't like them. Vocally. And repeatedly. Did not like them, denigrated and put them down.

As a reader, I feel like I was *supposed* to not like said characters. I know that's what these authors were going for, and I know they succeeded in part because several reviews and comments bear that out. BUT, for me, the MCs' attitudes made me dislike THEM instead of disliking the secondary characters I was supposed to. I think it felt especially strange because these (unrelated) books happened to fall one after the other in my reading pile, and it made me wonder if I was somehow missing the strength of the MCs or misinterpreting something.

I'm a character reader. I'll take fascinating characters over a fascinating plot or world every time. And suddenly it felt like I was cheering against the MCs in these examples. I'm sure it's just a matter of these particular books and these particular MCs not speaking to me, but it was an extra bummer that the secondary characters who were so well-written and multi-faceted were slammed so much by the MCs. It was a seriously confusing dynamic, and odd to have it happen multiple times in quick succession.

Anybody else have this experience? Have you been a fan of a character the MC disparages?

How has YOUR summer been going so far?


  1. Welcome back, Nicole!
    Yes, Guardians is that good.
    There have a been a few books where I connected more with the secondary character, but I don't remember the main character being mean. (Now you've made me worry how mean my main character was to the secondary characters...)

  2. Sometimes evil characters are better than the heroes and a lot of times they can be more fun to write.

    I have to say, in a few episodes of The Walking Dead, I did root for the zombies because the "heroes" were being so stupid! :)

    Slight variation on that topic- I've noticed there are a lot of anti-hero stories out there lately too. I haven't read the book yet, but the show that spun off of it-Dexter. He's a complete anti-hero. He's a murderer, but he only kills bad people so you root for him even though you know he's bad.

  3. That picture looks amazing!! I'm glad you're enjoying life. About the characters... I don't know, I'm all over the place. Sometimes I like secondary characters and sometimes I hate them. I also think that my responses are not always aligned with what the author wanted me to feel. But most of all, I don't enjoy characters that are mean. No matter if they are in the right or not. Being a strong character or not allowing others to treat you like a punching bag is not the same as becoming mean yourself. If a MC is mean, I will instantly like him less and root for someone else. So, I guess you're not alone in this! =)