Books? That's My Thing!: Traits in Characters Part II

Sorry guys! I was a little late to post today. I got caught up in my revisions, I have my tests today (Maths and Biology, wish me luck!), I have an hour before I have to go out the door and meet my doom. Anyway, let's continue our discussion on character traits! :)

    Since last time we talked about traits in main protagonists, now let's talk about the villain and secondary characters! Of course, the villain might not always be physical, most contemporary books have abstract villains, or obstacles, to be more exact. But I usually read paranormal and such, there's usually a villain to keep the story going!

    There's actually not much of a prototype of villain, but I'll try listing all the ones I can think of:
  1. seeking revenge
  2. out of jealousy (the Evil Queen from Snow White, anyone?)
  3. wrecked world-view (usually through tragic past)
  4. seeking power (you know, the whole I-want-to-control-the-world thing, I think those are the nuttiest kind of villains)
  5. just plain evil (OK, that was a joke :P)
    Personally, I like villains with a tragic past, it adds so much more emotion to the book, and I like back stories! It makes me understand the villain more and understand his/her motives. I mean, villains are emotional beings too! Sometimes I would just hate a villain so much but after a tragic back story I would start to grow sympathy for him/her.

   I also want to talk about the just-plain-evil one, I find that it actually happens in books, mostly in Middle Grade books. Middle Grade books are for smaller children, so the morals in the book are actually all black and white, the villains are just evil, meaning they really would do anything and have not much of a back story or reason to act evil. I love these kind of villains actually, they are ruthless, so the story can go really extreme, of course not pushing the limits of a MG book, watching the main characters fight back on such evil are really fun and always lightens my mood. (Actually, it's kind of weird of me :P) However, this case only apply to MG books, because if I find a villain like that in a YA book, I am sure I won't be giving it too high a rating. A YA book is aimed at teens, and the plain evil thing just won't work. The story would crumble like that. I mean, no back story? I am sure every reader of YA would be thinking how fake things are if there are no back story on the villain. Of course, I haven't stumbled upon such a book yet, they usually have some back story even if it's just a paragraph or two.

    Since we have foe, we have to have friends too, which in most books, are actually secondary characters in a book.

    Traits in a secondary character:
  1. Loyal OR manipulative (there are back-stabbing friends in the world, as much as it hurts me to see that happen to a main character)
  2. supportive OR over-protective (you know, that someone who always tries to talk the main character out of doing something stupid yet daring, and is important for the story to move on, I understand their motives of not wanting to lose their friends, but it gets kind of annoying when that happen, so I love a supportive friend who is as fierce as the main character and would fight with them side-by-side)
  3. Mellow OR Bitchy (Mostly, the best friend of a main character is kind of bitchy, I haven't seen many mellow best friends)
    And, that's about all I can think of. I love getting to know the secondary characters and my favorite character of a book are usually them. There are so many ways that a secondary character can be, but usually they are a friend of the main protagonists, which sometimes result in people calling them card-board cutout characters. Sadly, I must admit I have seen these types of secondary characters too. They lack back stories, and their presence in the book is actually just to fill the dialogue space and doesn't have much influence on the plot or the main protagonist's growth and decisions. I am sure a good author would make sure to have a back story of every character, even if the back story would never make it to the book.

I have to go, exams are calling! (Again, please wish me luck!) But I think we need to have a part III for love interests. I will post it on Saturday! The Tuesday slot is reserved for... Halloween! I don't have much Halloween stories to share but I'll think of something ;)

Anyway, as usual, I would love to discuss with you guys in the comments, so please leave a comment if you have something you want to say :) Some questions, what are your favorite types of villains? Examples? And what can you do to warrant a villain working against you? (I am sure all the protagonists have a good answer :D) And who is your all-time-favorite secondary character? Would you like to be friends with his/her in real life? Have a good day!

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