Characters Make a Good Book

There are many great books out there, filled with suspense, intrigue, conflict, and incredibly touching moments. However, there is one facet that makes a book a great read for me: characterization.

If I do not care about the characters, then all other aspects that make a book exciting are only secondary. Suspense in a novel, for example, truly works if we do not want something to happen to a character we care about. If we find ourselves, as readers, laughing when a character does something absurd, or crying when a character faces a tragedy or dies, then we realize the author has developed the character expertly.

Authors may be eloquent writers. They may know how to make the reader feel that he/she is part of the action in the book. They may know the technological language to incorporate into a book of speculative fiction. But if their characters are one-dimensional, do we really care about all the action going on around these characters?

I don’t care if a character is good or bad. What I do want is for the person to be someone who interests me; someone who I want to follow in the way that we follow people on twitter.
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Good characterization does not only relate to books. It is significant to plays, television programmes, and movies, too. Take, for example, the movie, Star Wars. The movie stands as a classic and retains an important place in the history of motion pictures. The special effects were exceptional for the period when the movie was released. I am still entertained by the movie. However, do I care for the movie’s characters? Not really.

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About randycoates

Randy Coates graduated from the University of Waterloo with a bachelor of arts degree and went on to acquire his teacher’s certificate at the University of Western Ontario. He is currently an elementary teacher in the Toronto District Board of Education.
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