Good day, Champions! I’m giving one last plug for the First Annual Heroine Poll! Thus far Britt is the runaway champion, with Rakel in second, but after that it’s a pretty close split! (Tari actually swooped in from behind over the last few days, so there’s still room for an upset!)
In case you haven’t gotten a chance to vote yet, here it is! Remember: you have until 6/15 to vote. (And yes, next year I’ll consider giving you more than three votes.)
Now on to the post!
I hope that all of you—both you newcomers and old loyalists—know just how important you Champions are to me! I can write because of your support—and your encouragement gives me a helpful nudge whenever I need it, too. But that love can be a double-edged sword because I love all of you—not just the majority—and that’s where my characters come in.
I have a lot of characters that are universally loved—like Rakel of the Snow Queen series, or Britt of King Arthurs—but like all authors, some readers dislike a few of heroines—and it changes from reader to reader. Some dislike Dylan of Little Selkie, others don’t care for Gemma of Rumpelstiltskin, and some people don’t sympathize with Cinderella.
You see all the heroines on that heroine poll? Each and every one of them, even the most popular like Rakel and Britt, have had a reader dislike or even hate them. But I’m okay with that, because it’s not possible to create a character everyone loves, just like it is impossible to create a story that everyone loves. But even more important, I accept that some of my gals will be less popular because—as you can see based on the votes—to someone, each of those heroines meant something.
I’ve had a few of my fabulous champions request that I re-write heroines that they dislike, and while I can understand where they are coming from (it’s disappointing to read a character you don’t sympathize with) my answer will always be a loving no. I feel like we need an example for this, so I’m going to use Odette of Swan Lake.
When Swan Lake first came out, many champions were a little unsure about Odette—she just didn’t jive with them. To put it simply, a lot of you didn’t like her very much. As you can see in the poll, she is not one of my most popular characters…but I have received some of the most heart-warming letters because of her. Odette—out of ALL my female heroines thus far—brought in the most mail to me in which readers poured out their hearts. I received emails from people who told me they had never before felt such a connection with a character, because the problems she faced as a leader were so much like the trials they went through. I received letters from people who indentified heavily with Odette, and felt like she brought them hope.
And that is why I will NEVER, EVER re-write one of my heroines. Because I will not take away the comfort those champions found in that story, and I will not remove my support from their struggles, even if they are in the minority.
I just write books. In the big scheme of things, I’m not heroic or particularly special. But I know people find hope in stories, and I never want to steal that from them.
Keep in mind, I’m not trying to shame anyone for disliking a character. Believe me, I have certain characters that I love, and certain kinds that I reaaallly dislike. (Romeo and Juliet, I’m talking to YOU TWO. SERIOUSLY. WHY YOU DO!?!?) So please keep on talking about characters—shedding light on your likes and dislikes—and give HONEST reviews, and all of that!
But if you read a book—whether it’s one of mine or from another author—and you find that you just don’t like the main character, please have patience…because the book probably wasn’t written for you. Wait a bit, and I promise eventually I’ll try to create another heroine that you’ll enjoy as well. (Now if my leading ladies are all suddenly insipidly stupid book after book after book, then that is a whole different story!! But hopefully that won’t happen.)
Whew, that was a bit of a long post, but I wanted to make it clear just how much I treasure you, Champions–all of you. Thanks for reading, and have a lovely weekend!
Hannah Hill says
One of the highest compliments you can give an author is to hate some of their characters, in my opinion, because (assuming that it’s not because the author just had no idea how to write – NOT A PROBLEM in your case!) that means that the characters are real people. You’re not going to like everyone in real life and it’s a badge of honor that your heroines are so real they have personality conflicts with different ones of us, and others are totally our BFFs. And when you’re able to make a character that makes someone feel understood, you’ve gone beyond entertaining that reader and touched some of their deepest needs. Great job, Kitty!
Oh, and I’d disagree that you’re no one special. I hope I get to meet you one day! 🙂
Thank you, Hannah. That is a perfect (and very complimentary–thank you!!) way to phrase it.
Your assurance and understanding really means a lot to me. (And I hope I get to meet you one day too! I can already imagine the fun conversations we’d have.)
Kenzie R. says
Totally agree with Hannah here. I want to get a minor in creative writing, I start college in the fall, so I have a little experience with writing. And in that experience I have found that there are plot writers (people whose stories are driven by their plot. Characters written to fit a certain plot.) and character writers (character driven stories. A plot created for the character or characters). In my opinion, correct me if I’m wrong, I would guess you, Kitty, are a character person. Being a character person myself, I like books written by other authors that I feel are character people. You are without a doubt one of the best. I feel like any of your characters could walk by me on the street. It’s amazing!!! If nobody understands a word of that, I’m trying to say Kitty rocks!!
I have liked all your heroines, to varying extents. 🙂 It continues to amaze me how you can give them all such individual personalities. A few of them have small things in common with others, and sarcasm is a connecting thread (which I like…;) ), but overall they are all individual. To the point….it’s awesome that all of your characters are different, even if it leads to varying levels of interest from book to book.
Ahahah I don’t think it’s possible for me to write a main character that isn’t at least a little sarcastic. I tried once, and she came off as an extreme optimist–like REALLY extreme–so I had to let some sarcasm shine lest she completely lose touch with reality. I take my hat off to the authors who can write personalities at the opposite ends of the spectrum!
But thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate the support! 🙂
Amanda McGee says
Your books make me really happy to read. I might have a few favorites of yours, but that fact will never change. You do you. I like your books, and I think you have a great personality (from what I know) so go you.
Aww thank you! 🙂 I do completely understand that people have favorites and characters they don’t really jive with–I’m pretty opinionated about characters myself! It’s more that it makes me sad when they so completely reject a character that they want me to erase them–but then again I have the delightful privilege of knowing what that character means to other people, while most people won’t, so it’s all a matter of perspective.
Thank you for this post and the perspective it gives, Kitty! *hugs all your heroes and heroines* x3
Now that you mention your distaste for Romeo and Juliet… Is there any chance we’ll be getting their story from you in a way that makes sense? xD
Aww, thank you! 🙂
As for a Romeo and Juliet re-write…uuggghhhh, if I were to do that, I’m 99% certain I would write it from Rosalie’s perspective–the girl Romeo likes at the start of the play whom you never actually see.
HAHAHA best Tumblr quote ever!
User 1: What if he’s your Romeo, but you’re not his Juliet?
User 2: Then it means you’re Rosalie and you SURVIVE the #*@%&! play!
Haha, that’s great! xD
Hannah Hill says
Best quote EVER.
It would be so fun to have it made printed on a shirt!