Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I'm reading a book right now, and the main protagonist is bugging the crap out of me. I grow to dislike her more and more as each page goes by. This is a big problem because:

a) It's first person POV.
b) I'm only on page 35.

The protag (heroine) hates the hero. I mean she can't stand his ass. But why? She just met him. Yeah, she's heard stuff about him (he's a partier, womanizer, etc) But a few pages back she had a conversation with her cousin--whom she's very fond of, who is also a partier, womanizer, etc.,--and the cousin was asking why (Why, WHY?!?) she disliked the hero so much.(?!) Even she couldn't justify her dislike. But the poor freakin reader has to wade through pages and paragraphs of disparaging unjustified thoughts and snarky dialogue aimed at the poor hero.

Don't get me wrong, I don't need my characters to be likable (fer instance, I was absolutely facinated by the main protag of PERFUME, and I love Anne Stuart's dark 'anti-hero'Heroes), and I also totally understand the need of being able to show adequate character growth and change. But com'on now! Give me a reason. Sweeten the pot.

If the character is unlikeable give me some insight as to why (Why, WHY!?). If they're acting unreasonable (ie being whinny and getting on my last frickin nerve!) Give. Me. A. Reason.

I'm not one of those readers that need to be spoon-fed, I like reading between the lines. I like things hinted/inferred. I like symbolism and foreshadow and parallism. I like layering and putting the puzzle peices together. But gimme something. Just don't think you're gonna drop an EPIPHANY bomb on me (character suddenly realizes why (Why WHY!) they've been acting like a jackass) a hundred pages in and that's going to explain/fix everything. It'll be too late by then, if I even reach that stage, cause your character will have already lost my love, sympathy and interest.
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Amie Stuart said...

Sadly, I'm having similiar problems. Okay not similiar but I'm reading a book right now and I feel like I can see what's coming 500 miles down the road. Not good =(

Jaye said...

Oh, that's not good. I'm not sure which is worse. Although I think your problem just engenders boredom. This chick (herione) is seriously irritating the shit out of me. Thing is the premise, other characters are holding me interest, so I do want to keep reading. We'll see how long I last. Eventually she'll get the best of me if she dosen't ease up on the attitude.

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