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Out of these choices, what's the main thing you look for in a book?

A father figure 0.057142857142857 5.7% [ 2 ]
A mother figure 0 0.0% [ 0 ]
An enemy that becomes a friend 0.085714285714286 8.6% [ 3 ]
A friend that becomes an enemy 0.085714285714286 8.6% [ 3 ]
A main character that is a girl 0.11428571428571 11.4% [ 4 ]
A main character that is a boy 0.17142857142857 17.1% [ 6 ]
A group of people that are main characters 0.28571428571429 28.6% [ 10 ]
A main character that is a child 0.057142857142857 5.7% [ 2 ]
A love interest 0.14285714285714 14.3% [ 5 ]
Total Votes:[ 35 ]
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I don't mean plot-wise like "I look for a war between two fantasy races" or "I prefer books that take place in current times rather than olden." I mean, what kind of characters do you look for? An over-the-top evil villain that somehow makes it work or a villain that's extremely subtle and passive aggressive? A woobie (Character that has everything bad happen to him/her and you feel bad for him/her)? A main character that goes looking for danger or a main character that has danger just happen to fall in his/her lap? A child? Are love interests really that important? Are father figures? What about mother figures? What kind of characters do you prefer in a book?
skyryo's avatar

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when I read a book, I really do not look for anything. if the story pacing is good, I keep reading. I think I look for characters that do bad stuff mainly that is what makes the book good to read
Mallory MacNamara's avatar

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The biggest thing is how real the characters are. I love reading books where strengths can be turned into flaws and flaws that can be turned into strength. I loathe reading about books where the MC & their merry band of cretins have amazing strengths but infantesimal weaknesses [like not being able to hold a gun properly or being poor at running]. I put books away with characters like this.

The second is how characters change by the end of the book or series. If they don't change in someway at the end I feel ungodly disappointed and slightly insulted by the reader [which is by the end of Harry Potter I disliked nearly all the characters]. If characters don't change, in my opinion anyway, the author is saying, "HA! My characters were perfect and didn't need to change!"


The kind of characters that I like are the ones shaped by their experiences and take life lessons from the things they have learned. I like characters who shape and are shaped by the world the author created for them. I find these types of books to be very human in nature. If an author will create a realistic character there is a large change I will like them, regardless of how awful they are.

I also like realistic characters - like Deloris Umbridge from HP, she was a woman who was corrupt and used her power to harm those she didn't like and those who didn't agree with her. She was a perfect example of a real-life villain, and I find those villains to be much more compelling and interesting than ones like Voldemort.

As far as mother/father figures go, I enjoy them if the story calls for them and if they are realistic parents who actually serve a purpose in the grander scheme of things within the book. Same goes for a love interest.
We who have Fallen's avatar

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Dragons, usually. It's surprisingly difficult to find fiction with (what I consider) good dragons that isn't bogged down in world building, purple prose and dull characters. The same problem seems to infest my darling Alien/sci-fi books. Very sad.
But in general I look for likeable, flawed characters in a well described world facing some sort of difficult challenge that gets them off their buns and out into the well described world. And of course the main character should be male because there are only a handfull of authors that seem capable of writing good female characters (romance novels not withstanding)
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Out of the poll choices, a main character that is a child. Other than that, I look for mysteries that have an interesting twist at the end!
Currently I'm reading the Hannibal Lecter series, so that explains my type of character... I usually look for the back-stabber. The story with the simple plot that goes along cheerily until some a*****e makes all hell break loose. And that character is what gets me interested in the story, the one that causes the chaos, really gets things going. They could be the main character or only in it for a paragraph. It really doesn't matter, just so long as they show up.
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I don't look for a specific character but I avoid a one-dimensional main character. Someone who's predictable and can easily be classified into some categories the first time you read about him. That to me isn't worth reading.

If I have to pick one in the poll, I'd choose the boy main character. At least most male characters' actions aren't driven only by family or by their love life. Girls have too many love issues and insecurities plus most of them are just bedmates for a strong male character.

There are exceptions of course. Most of the books I've read have interesting female characters, not just sex symbols.
Raye Delvego's avatar

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I don't really have a favourite type of character but I do tend to pick up books more often if the main male character has charm. Like, everyone hates him for being so handsome and sure of himself and his outside bravato is everything a strong ma must be, but on the inside he is just as indecisive and scared as everyone else. I like it when those kind of characters are introduced for some reason. Like Daemon from Anne Bishop's The Black Jewels
Raye Delvego
I don't really have a favourite type of character but I do tend to pick up books more often if the main male character has charm. Like, everyone hates him for being so handsome and sure of himself and his outside bravato is everything a strong ma must be, but on the inside he is just as indecisive and scared as everyone else. I like it when those kind of characters are introduced for some reason. Like Daemon from Anne Bishop's The Black Jewels

My Gary-Stu senses are tingling. (Gary-Stu = Male Mary-Sue)
Time Lady Anja's avatar

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Mainly I just look for well developed characters. I really hate it when bad guys do evil things just to be evil and when good guys can do no wrong because they're the hero. I like my characters to not be that black and white. I like heroes who don't always do everything right and villains who have reasons for their actions.

Beyond that I love anti-heroes and strong female characters. One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to books is when a female character who was previously strong and independent becomes useless and love-struck at the appearance of a male love interest. I tend to avoid younger protagonists. I typically don't relate to or like characters who are children or teens.
Raye Delvego's avatar

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TeenyTiger
Raye Delvego
I don't really have a favourite type of character but I do tend to pick up books more often if the main male character has charm. Like, everyone hates him for being so handsome and sure of himself and his outside bravato is everything a strong ma must be, but on the inside he is just as indecisive and scared as everyone else. I like it when those kind of characters are introduced for some reason. Like Daemon from Anne Bishop's The Black Jewels

My Gary-Stu senses are tingling. (Gary-Stu = Male Mary-Sue)


haha ^o^.
Baheena's avatar

Hygienic Member

I like characters that are well thought-out and have some sort of realism to their personalities, regardless of their gender or age. Make me care for them as I would a real person, whether it be through admiration or anger. The moment they seem like puppets being pulled along by the author's strings, I lose interest.

I tend to avoid any book that has over-the-top OMG KID POWER!!111 in it, where inexperienced children somehow have all the answers and adults are just bumbling idiots.
Big, strong manly men doing the things that big strong manly men do! Like coal mining and sailing the seven seas (or even more seas if they're from a fantasy world or a different planet); taking out the alien race threatening mankind and saving the damsel in distress (though she doesn't have to be totally helpless). Might kings going to war, knights in shining armor being chivalrous.
And of course, a cup of tea wouldn't go astray here and there.
Call me Rainleaf's avatar

Beloved Seeker

Anything with a well-formulated plot that is among my interests.
Gee Mister's avatar

Distinct Friend

I really like reading books from a boy's point of view, because I'm not a boy and can't really think how they think, it's super fun to get into the mind of one. So usually if the main character is male, I'll look to see if the author is also male so I know this is for sure guy feels and not just a female author attempting a boy's thoughts, y'know? Although I've seen a few female authors really convince me that they know male thoughts!

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