Book characters are our friends and heroes, our favourites and inspirations…aaaaand also super weird.
Look obviously not every book character is relatable to every reader. We don’t all get along in the real world so makes sense, yes??? But I jUST cAN’t with some things book characters do. I do not understand. I have short circuited and shrieked myself into another dimension.
(It’s nice here, btw, very dark and quiet and prone to black stars of death, as is my aesthetic.)
This post is basically to assure me that if I was a YA character, I would just lay down and die. But le’s discuss, shall we?
1. ACTUALLY FIGHTING THINGS
Look I am quite fierce. I can run very fast and far and I have an intense resting Murder Stare™ face and can carry 20 hardcovers at once. However. True to my Slytherin soul, if I was in a dark fantasy adventure, I’d 100% get someone else to do the dirty work for me. I just don’t think I, personally, could fight???
Like the idea of even learning how to use a sword (like for fun???) doth not appeal. I’m a little disappointed in me too, considering I love to write about murdery wars and weapony destruction. But I think I fell over and am actually a pacifist which means I was pulled out of the Pacific Ocean as a child and my true father, Poseidon, will someday reclaim me to rule the seven seas.
2. SKIPPING FOOD TO RUN INTO THE NEXT ADVENTURE
Look I get that there’s adrenaline and grief and terror that can make food less interesting. Also I feel like if you were on a medieval journey and it was like “POTATOES OR BEEF JERKY TODAY!!” which is boring. Buuuuuut. I am a Hobbit. I wish for my Elevenses. I’m like a grazing goat. I don’t understand how all these book characters can keep up the 42 days of WALKING and they barely eat?!??
I’m looking at you Chaos Walking which is such an apt name because the characters walked + never ate. And I’d be a freaking ball of low-blood-sugar chaos if that happened to me too.
3. RUNNING OUT IN ANGER IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ARGUMENT-CONFESSION
Look if someone has WRONGED ME and kept a huge secret, I am 500% not storming out mid-conversation. Like tell me??? Explain the prophecy??? I am mad, yes, and I will fling a plate but I also want to know every single tiny detail, have out with it????
I know it’s dramatic to storm out, but every time a character does that, I’m left sitting here clutching my paperback and going: “WELL I WANT HEAR THE REASONINGS BEHIND YOUR BETRAYAL. GET YOUR BUTT BACK IN THERE.”
4. WHEN SUPERHEROES ARE CONSTANTLY ON CALL
Reason #94898 I would be a better supervillain —> if you are in trouble but I literally just sat down, well you can wait. Hold the trauma in, mate, bleed internally or whatever just not on the carpet. I need some quiet time to regroup.
5. WITTY COMEBACKS
I think of my best witty comebacks at least 7-working days later. I mean, yes, sometimes I deliver that BAM of a line that’s so perfect the sun bursts into flame in appreciation. * I can be epic!! But it is, unfortunately !! not !! the norm!!
Witty banter is my #1 favourite thing to read of ever, so please never stop, YA characters. But if I starred in a book I’d probably have to be the random decorative stone gargoyle. I am just guessing.
* look if you’re going to sit here and say “cait that’s literally what the sun does all the time” THEN YOU CAN TAKE YOUR NEGATIVE REALITY SOMEWHERE ELSE.
6. CHANGING NAMES
So many characters go on adventures, or undercover, or run away or change their whole life and go, “I need another name, I WILL CHOOSE NOW.” Skills, mate. It is a deep and glorious skill. I have no idea how they (a) think up a name that they like now but also won’t be embarrassed about 17 minutes later, and (b) actually make the decision???
97% of the reason I didn’t choose a pen name for my author life (despite honestly loathing my name ah hahaha) is because WHAT IF I ENDED UP HATING IT? I JUST CAN’T MAKE THIS KIND OF COMMITMENT.
Guess who’s never getting a tattoo or spending less than 5 hours choosing an ice cream flavour, hmm?
7. WHEN YOU HAVE A BAD EXPERIENCE BUT GO FOR A REPEAT TRY
I mentioned this in my review of Small Spaces recently, which is a book I loved, but the character had a terrible childhood experience at her aunt’s house, so…9 years later…SHE GOES BACK. I JUST??? I AM NOT??? MY BRAIN = < error >
Look if I have a bad experience with something, you’re more likely to see me on the moon than doing it again. Like one time I went outside and nATURE TOUCHED ME. So I’ve been indoors for 160 years now and it’s fine. I’m fine. Everything is fine.
8. THOSE TIMES WHEN BOOK CHARACTER PARENTS GIVE THEIR KIDS LIKE…EVERYTHING
Perhaps this is just me saying: Hi, Am I Not Rich Nor Have Ever Been. But I read this books where a 16yo gets given a car and it’s normal and are Americans really like this or is this wishful thinking on authors’ parts??? Double hit when these kids are pretty rude to their parents. Like do yoU wANt to be muRdeRED, JOHN??? I personally struggle to let my parents even pay for a coffee for me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
9. SPILLING FOOD ON ONESELF
Not to say every book character should be clumsy but like…none of them are? And I’m not a clumsy person myself! But I sure as heck SPILL STUFF ON MYSELF. Look this is why witches wear black, we all know it. Cover up bloodstains and food spills. I am just here seeing everyone being so clean and tidy in books while I just found a toothpaste stain that appeared supernaturally because I hadn’t even been to the bathroom yet.
10. CHARGING OFF TO RESCUE PEOPLE
You know that feel when the love of your life goes missing / gets taken by a dragon / runs away?? And then you dedicate you 300pg story to finding them? Well HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU SHOULD? All I’m saying is that book characters are very confident about this sort of thing, whereas I would be:
Character: *has been taken by the darkness*
Character: Save me???
Me: ok but
Me: do you still like me
Me: will i be bothering you if i just…you know…show up
This should probably be figured out before you being a friendship/relationship with someone, yes?
“TICK: Y / N = WANT TO BE RESCUED FROM EVIL OR NOT KEEN?”