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Fictional Friends

Have you ever read a book and wanted one particular character to come alive so they could be your best friend forever?

I have. For years.

The first two characters I wanted to be real? George from The Nancy Drew Series (she knew judo! She had short hair! She was a tomboy! In all, everything tomboyish 10-year-old me wanted.) and Frank from The Hardy Boys Series (because he had dark hair and therefore my 10-year-old self thought he was much more handsome than blond Joe.) 😛

It continued. Robin Hood (though I adored Alan A’Dale as well), King Arthur, Sir Gawain (I found Lancelot despicable). Boromir, Merry, Pippin, Sam. Kieran (from The Sword of Lyric series, because he was the first bad boy character I truly like.)

Truth be told, wishing for fictional people to be real continues to this day. Shallan, Kaladin and Jasnah from The Stormlight Archive; Remus, Tonks, Luna, Fred & George, and Neville; Kalek from the Toch Island Chronicles; John Watson (No Sherlock, thanks…we’d probably spend too much time fighting); Amy, Rory, and Donna.

I notice that I’m often drawn the characters who aren’t necessarily the main ones (there are a few exceptions), the ones who have a wicked sense of humor and maybe a sharp tongue to go with it. Usually they’re heroic, though sometimes (Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle being a primary suspect) they’re not.

And over the last couple of years, every time I’m drawn to read a book again because of its awesome characters, I’ve asked myself why. Why do I adore Tonks, but not Hermione? Why would I hang out with Kalek rather than Siophra or Angel?

It’s because I’m drawn to the characters who are wonderfully unique. You can have merry pranksters, but you’ll never eclipse Merry and Pippin or Fred and George. A married couple can go on adventures, but rarely are they devoted to each other like Amy and Rory. A slave can become a hero in any fantasy tale, but rarely do men do it because they care for others, not themselves, like Kaladin. You can have a cowardly wizard, but you’ll never find one who is unabashedly aware of it, like Howl.

What about you? Do you have characters that you just absolutely love?

 

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About H. A. Titus

H. A. Titus is usually found with her nose in a book or spinning story-worlds in her head. Her love affair with fantasy began at age twelve, when her dad handed her The Lord of the Rings after listening to it on tape during a family vacation. Her stories have been published in Digital Dragon Magazine, Residential Aliens Magazine, and four anthologies: Alternative Witness; Avenir Eclectia Volume 1; The Tanist's Wife and Other Stories; and Different Dragons Volume II. In December 2013, her short story "Dragon Dance" won Honorable Mention in a Writers of the Future contest. She lives on the shores of Lake Superior with her meteorologist husband and young son, who do their best to ensure she occasionally emerges into the real world. When she's not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skiing, or hanging out at her online home, hatitus.wordpress.com.

5 comments on “Fictional Friends

  1. Well, first…cool! And thanks for the mention of Toch Island! Kalek is my favorite, too :).

    Second, yes, I agree! There are so many characters I’d love to meet in real life, including a lot of them you listed here. It’s funny, I just finished rereading the Inkheart series (by Cornelia Funke) and it’s all about people who actually get to bring characters right out of books, and later go into those books and meet even more characters. If only that were actually possible! (BTW, I’d so love to meet Dustfinger from that series!)

    • Your comment actually made me go order the Inkheart books…I read them years ago and simply forgot how awesome they are. 🙂 Oh yes, I would definitely love to meet Dustfinger!!

  2. Other people’s characters? Are you kidding? I’m the sort of miserable sot who wants his *own characters to be alive, let alone those of others. 😀 And given that some have graced me with saying of my Metacosmos things like “somewhere, somehow, it’s real”, perhaps some such readers wish some of my protagonists were real, too.

    The truth is I find (as you do) every sympathetic character imaginable, even many villains, as alive and vivid in my mind as real people are. I’m not always sure what that proves, but for me life enriches art and art enriches life on that level.

    • Oh, I want my own characters to come alive too, don’t doubt that! Especially the character I mentioned in last week’s post, Eliaster. Although in real life I think he’d actually scare me a little. 😉

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