Characters. Hard to say goodbye, no?

I just finished rereading Ender’s Game, for maybe the fifth time. It astounds me how intensely attached I am to Ender, a small boy genius who plays war games in space. Because none of that appeals to me. War games. Space. Geniuses. (That’s because I’m not one.) But Orson Scott Card writes with such personable, passionate prose that I feel like I completely, absolutely, 100 percent am breathing what Ender breathes. Seeing what he sees. Feeling what he feels. This boy. This special, significant person, who carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. Oh how I care for him with such fervor. So when I read those last words. When I close the cover. When the story ends. I’m morose for days after. I grieve the loss of sweet communion I shared with this character. Fictional goodbyes, I’ve learned, are no easier than real ones.

And yet, it’s those very feelings that keep me reading. Keep me pursuing great characters. Favorite characters. Characters I long to be best friends with. Harry Potter. Frodo Baggins. Percy Jackson. Katniss Everdeen. Jay Gatsby. Matteo Alacrán. Holden Caulfield. Ender Wiggin. Charlotte Doyle. Bean. Thursday Next. And the list goes on. A giant THANK YOU to the authors of these believable, beautiful characters. My writing definitely wouldn’t be the same without them.

Who do you hate saying goodbye to after rereading his or her story? 


2 thoughts on “Characters. Hard to say goodbye, no?

  1. I love the characters of the Chronicles of Narnia :-) sometimes I grab a book off the shelf and just go to a chapter where I love the story or turning point for a specific character. Like where the beavers tell the pevensies about aslan – he’s not safe, but he’s good. :-) or when eustace get de-dragooned. Characters make or break a story in my opinion. If you don’t have good character development, if you don’t have depth of character, the rest of the book can’t make up for it :-) just my book-nerd opinion!

    I love Ender too. Refuse to see the movie b/c I’m sure it’s not as good as my imagination!

    • Yes — I love Aslan too! And completely agree that characters can make or break a story — I’ve stopped reading stories because the character frustrated me too much. Thanks for commenting!

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