“Type”

Have you noticed a pattern in the sort of people you’re attracted to? Do they tend to have short hair, or curly hair, or light-colored lashes? Are they usually artistic, or scholarly, or reckless daredevils? Would you generally rather that they be taller than you, or shorter than you, funny, or serious, or so overly serious that you can’t help but laugh? Ideals will infinitely vary; even individuals will probably change their minds about what they do and don’t like, over time. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a particularly dire question, and yet it’s one we’ve heard before and will doubtless hear again: “What’s your preferred general character or structure held in common by a number of people or things considered as a group or class?”

            …Or, as perhaps you’ve heard it more commonly asked, “What’s your Type?”

            Physically speaking, my tailor fits my Type pretty well; other examples included a previously-mentioned former Backstreet Boy (bonus points for his lovely singing voice, and extra bonus points for when his hair was long), and Aragorn as seen in the “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy (bonus points for a having a sword and wearing a cape). But that’s just one type of Type to have – the “Eye Candy Type”, if you will. Suppose you strip away the physicality, and even the materiality, leaving only personality as revealed in the printed word? (I’d say a minstrel took over that last sentence, except it’s all rhyme and no rhythm; my minstrels, they would have me assure you, have better meter than that.)

            We’re talking now about your “Reader Type” – the sort of characters you’re drawn to, that you love to read about. When it comes to my reading, I’ve noticed some patterns there, too – for example, my infatuation with thieves. Charitable outlaws living it up in the forests of medieval England (referring, of course, to Robin Hood and his merry band), ex-convicts stealing their way to a Victorian gentleman’s lifestyle (looking at and loving you, Montmorency), sociopathic kings of criminals who ruthlessly manipulate their way to whatever goals they set (Tirzah Duncan’s Syawn fits the bill; he even plays dirty by trying to pander to my Eye Candy Type, the punk), whatever. If there’s clever thievery going on, my immediate interest level spikes.

            Actually, I’m attracted to cleverness in general; reading about idiots tends to frustrate me no end. And I don’t like reading about people who are just plain bad, unless of course they are supposed to be the villains, in which case I say, “Never mind, bring on the evil!” I like reading about characters who hang around with awesome friends, and share laughs with them, and stick by them in times of exciting crisis. (Naturally, they should stick by their friends in times of boring crisis, too, but I won’t necessarily want to read about it.) And if these characters happen to be handsome, singing swordsmen on the wrong side of the law, so much the better.

            Do an author’s Reader Types influence their Writer Types – that is, the sorts of characters they find themselves attracted to writing? To some degree, I think. If I don’t want to read about it, I don’t want to write it (although I will admit, writing idiots in small doses can be fun). I enjoy writing characters who are cleverer than me (or at least sneakier and quicker on the draw), and who always have time for witty quips with their pals during escapades, and very sinister villains, and I’ve got a handful of thieves (including my own Merry Men, huzzah!). I also spend a lot of time writing musicians – particularly minstrels, which just goes to show that the Reader Type/Writer Type influence goes both ways: Buzzwords like “minstrel”, “bard”, and “lute” send my immediate interest level through the roof since I’ve written “The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale”.

            And what of you, Ever On Word followers and guests? When it comes to reading – and, if you’re an author, writing – what’s your preferred general character or structure held in common by a number of people or things considered as a group or class? (If you want something to be doubtless heard again, sometimes you’ve gotta say it yourself. 😉 )

Advertisements

14 thoughts on ““Type”

  1. When reading, I’m drawn to noble personalities. Especially those who sacrifice their own safety or comfort to protect that of others. So I like the gentlemen in Jane Austen’s novels. I like Patrick Stewart in First Contact. I like the book Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. Best I’ve ever read, and rife with noble deeds (especially toward the end). I haven’t really discovered what I like to write yet, since I’m only 10,000 words into my first novel, but on reflection, maybe I should work some nobility into my main character, since I enjoy reading about it so very much. Thanks for the post; you’ve given me a lot to think about this morning!

    • Ooh, good one. Nobilily is a fine attribute! — for heroes, obviously, although it can be a source of interest and complexity if a “bad guy” shows glimspes of it, too.
      Happy process of discovery, to you! Glad I was able to contribute a snack for thought. (:

      • A villain’s nobility: the first thing that comes to mind is Javiert’s suicide at the end of Les Miserables with Liam Neeson. I can’t remember if that’s what happened in the book, although the book was one of my all time favorites. I’ve been meaning to learn French since reading it; I want to read it in the language in which Victor Hugo wrote it. I was born a lazy American though, so I don’t know if I’ll ever manage to learn a second language…

      • Mais oui, we lazy Americans can make it hard on ourselves. (Excuse my trying to act like I know a lick of French, lol.) Hopefully, one of these days, I’ll get around to learning Italian. ^^

  2. I tend to like the quirky guys. or girl. R.A. Nelson’s Breath My Name had an excellent boy named Nix. He was extremely strange. I liked him.
    When I write, it’s the same way. i really like to make my characters abnormally… *something*. Abnormally attracted to music. Abnormally in the love of words. Abnormally talkative or quiet or anything. Geeky-slash-funny characters are my other favorites, which have a tendency to tie in with the quirky bits.

    • Quirks can be fun, alright! I love it when characters are so weirdly themselves; when it doesn’t read like an author gimmick or anything, it’s just the people being who they are. It’s a pleasure to read about — and, sometimes, to live.
      To quote a couple quirky kids I once wrote,
      “Viva las weirdoes! …*Los* weirdoes. Is ‘weirdo’ feminine or masculine?”
      “Here’s a hint: It’s not Spanish.”

  3. Ya know, I’d say that I’m drawn to the oversized simple type. For instance, Alistair, my MC’s “Sidekick” from my Grand Novel, is six feet tall, sort of a dark personality, not quite a simpleton but not exactly an “Overthinker,” as it were. And while I’m reading War and Peace by Tolstoy, I’m finding the same thing…I really like and am drawn to Pierre Bezuhov, the socially out-of-place, awkwardly-taking-up-space sort of high-society-face that always gets my good grace.

    Wow. I guess I have a minstrel too…um… 😀 What is this minstrel you keep speaking of?

    • Lol, an object of enthusiastic interest can bring minstrel-like eloquence out of us all.
      I can usually go for an oversized non-overthinker myself — particularly when they’re sweeties. (:

      My personal minstrels are Gant-o’-the-Lute (as featured in two of my “Wilderhark Tales”) and his son-slash-protege, Allyn-a-Dale (of “The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale” fame). They consider it their task to act as my musical muses, and add lyricism to my life. My writing owes them far more credit than I enjoy admitting.

  4. I’m interested in the understated but quirky and amazing character. The kind of person you might pass by without noticing, but if you knew the rich inner life of that person, or you watched that person long enough, you would eventually wise up, become intrigued and wonder why you gave him/her so little attention in the first place.

    It’s kind of a shy, quiet child’s “revenge” that lurks underneath this attraction I think. I used to (and still do) have a huge collection of plastic animals, “The Big Beast Army” I called them. There were tigers, elephants, wolves, horses, dinosaurs, and many, many more. They all had various adventures. I liked my black panther and my fox a lot, but I also had a small, ordinary looking colt. Everybody (the other beasts that is) were always surprised that finally it was the colt that saved the day.

    • Sounds like the sort that could really grow on the reader. I love it when a character steps up and surprises you. What you see is not always what you get; sometimes, there’s a whole lot more.
      And B.B.A. colt sounds boss. (:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s