5 Characters You Can’t Help But Love

  1. The stupid guy who accidentally saves everyone. This guy is just the best. He’s not quite suave or functional, but he has an adroit way of being in just the right place at the right time, and saving the universe from certain doom. There is something immensely pleasing in an accidental hero.
  2. The unconscious ingenue. This is the girl who has become beautiful, and she hasn’t quite noticed it yet. She’s the late-bloomer; she figures out she’s pretty after the boys all chase her, but there’s a delicious space of time that occurs right after her transformation, when men pursue her, and she is quite unaware of the devastation she causes by rejecting them without any embarrassment.
  3. The voluble child. This is usually the part of a boy, (but Mary, in The Secret Garden, plays this part) and he is usually the loveliest character in the whole piece. Gavroche is this character, as is Moth from Shakespeare’s Love’s Labors Lost. The boy is willing to speak truth when no one else is, and shows up everyone’s folly. This is the kid who points to the Emperor and says that he’s totally in the buff.
  4. The secretly innocent whore. This is also a charming part. Eponine is this–the sexually experienced child. You have to write this carefully, so as not to create an offensively insensitive caricature of a woman, but the dichotomy of innocence and raw, ugly, unprotected experience is very real, and can be exceedingly poignant. The reader wants to jump through the page and rescue her.
  5. The well-meaning jerk. This is the guy with the heart of gold who has bad friends, or who has never really been parented well. He is often popular, but doesn’t think about the repercussions of his popularity on others. A nice, grounded woman generally wakes him up from his uncouthness. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice is this guy. He makes a fantastic romantic hero, because he can change his ways so easily, and that kind of character transformation is deeply satisfying to the reader.
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