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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading Dean Koontz lately, and he makes it pretty obvious who the villains are. Within a page of meeting most of them, I'm ready to throw the switch on the electric chair myself. Is it because I'm crazy or because his books are that great?

What or how long does it take you to willingly condemn a character?
 

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I guess it depends on how much I hate them. Usually I find villains more believable if I grow to hate them throughout the book, rather than them being so horrible right off the bat that I want to see them dead immediately.
 

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I'm always wary if I hate a character too soon, because I wonder if the author is pulling a switcheroo where the person you think is evil actually turns out to be good. I'm suspicious that way. *grin*
 

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foreverjuly said:
I've been reading Dean Koontz lately, and he makes it pretty obvious who the villains are. Within a page of meeting most of them, I'm ready to throw the switch on the electric chair myself. Is it because I'm crazy or because his books are that great?

What or how long does it take you to willingly condemn a character?
Sometimes it only takes one truly horrible action. Hurting kids or pets is the quick way to it for me. In my opinion, the best books are the ones that take that knee-jerk reaction and turn it on its head so that you feel sympathy for those characters.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ryl said:
I'm always wary if I hate a character too soon, because I wonder if the author is pulling a switcheroo where the person you think is evil actually turns out to be good. I'm suspicious that way. *grin*
David Gemmell tends to do that, but he does it very well. The villains are still evil, but he does something to redeem them, and it's AWESOME.

George R. R. Martin, on the other hand, kills off the characters I love... :'(
 

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foreverjuly said:
What or how long does it take you to willingly condemn a character?
Actions speak louder than words.

Any reader that has read more than three mystery novels knows better than to immediately point the finger at the "obvious" suspect. In Pride and prejudice we have Darcy who is the initial "villain" only to later be the love interest. In Charles Dickens his bad characters are usually bad from the start but you grow to hate them more as they commit more depraved acts. But, in the case of Scrooge, you hate that character right away but he later turns out to be a good guy.

How they react to situations is really how I end up judging them. Which, as someone else already mentioned, sometimes makes more a more interesting character than just someone who is good all the time.
 

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They have to really annoy me, to the point where I start thinking "This character needs a bridge dropped on them if my enjoyment of this work is going to continue".  It mostly happens in TV shows, actually.  Like in Heroes, back when it was watchable, Peter Petrelli and his love interest, every single time they were on screen and especially when they were together I was just sitting there going, "Oh please let them die in this scene, PLEASE let something terrible happen to them, just so I don't have to sit through more of this terrible, terrible acting".

With books, when there aren't irritating actors involved, I'm more a fan of redemption than punishment.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lots of interesting thoughts here. Although it's fine to talk about it, I wasn't trying to point to characters who were written terribly that then make you wish they were removed from the book via a swift death. I'd be more likely to blame the author in that kind of a circumstance.

As for Heroes, Sylar was a perfect example of a great villain, and I probably would've tried to kill the actor if I'd seen him on the street (not really). Then later on I got really bored with Claire and it was painful because she was the one character who couldn't be killed. Then I stopped watching the show.
 

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The one time I really wished a character would die, it was the heroine, namely Clarissa in Sir Samuel Richardson's Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady. Yes, she is abducted and raped by Sir Lovelace. But taking over a thousand pages to will herself to death in spite of everyone trying to love, understand and help her was outside of enough. As a literature major I had to read it. It's been about 35 years but I can clearly remember reaching the end one morning while taking the bus to Cal State Long Beach and startling fellow passengers with a heartfelt "Finally--she's dead!"
 

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This thread is so funny. I really don't like some books...but naming? I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.
I didn't like some books though and editing issues, Breaking Dawn. Editing issues for most self-pub books, but there are many that are still gems of a read, despite the issues.
 

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With Twilight, I wanted Bella to die right from the start. Despicable. Maybe it was the fake "responsible, good girl" act, maybe it was the constant whining, maybe it was the overstatement of her "billions" of suitors, her being a jerk to everyone once she met Eddie-poo, I don't know.. I just knew that I really, really wanted James to kill her.
 

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I tend to like to let my hate grow over a book.  However, sometimes it seems like as soon as you know who the villain is, I can't wait to see how they are going to kill him off.
 

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I try not to kill off characters. I think it can add to the suspense to keep characters alive and develop the levels of conflict, betrayal, manipulation and deception. I tend to write slice of life type books and it is difficult to kill off characters and make it feel realistic.

I am influenced by things like, The Wire, Godfather, Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire and things where life goes on and then... out of nowhere, someone is dead.

--- edited... no self-promotion outside the Book Bazaar forum. please read our Forum Decorum thread.
 
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