What Is Your Favourite Literary Character Ever?

by Paul Seaton
27th January 2021

I’ve been thinking a lot about characters recently - the characters in my own book of course, but great characters from the books I loved reading too.
 

There are so many I love, and each of them are different, even within the same genre. Harry Bosch, Ray Mason and Tom Thorne may both have led police procedural series but each man has deep rooted issues that have shaped them in different ways as their lives have progressed. That’s due to the phenomenal writing of Michael Connelly, Simon Kernick and Mark Billingham, but also due to the way characters evolve. 
 

My main protagonist is shaped by tragedy while serving abroad, and a debt he will forever owe to a family who have no idea he is back in their world. I can’t wait to write about him whenever I sit down, he’s filling up with colour and the world he inhabits is shaped by him as much as he is shaped by it.
 

Its a wide-reaching question, I know, but who is your favourite character in a novel and why?

Replies

I suppose what we're really answering is who most interests us as characters. I can tell you the ones who have stood the test of time.

Sara Crewe (A Little Princess) has never left me and never will.

Mr Watts (Mr Pip by Lloyd Jones) because he was an inspirational teacher in terrible circumstances.

And I have a soft spot for Ginny Weasley. There's a line, I think in book six, about a tattoo of a pygmy puff that had me crying with laughter. It was the ultimate sibling put-down and hysterical.

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06/02/2021

This is a great question, Paul! I think I probably have too many favourite characters, so I've tried to shorten the list - with some old and new faves.

Keiko from Convenience Store Woman by Sakaya Murata
A brilliant character who has had to teach herself how to behave around others.

Eileen from Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
I was equal parts repulsed and fascinated by Eileen.

I also love Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events, Vita from The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell, and Janie Crawford from And Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Quite a mixed bag there!

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