Disclaimer: This may irritate or annoy younger writers. Proceed only if you want to hear my honest opinion.
I started this morning off reading a reaction post to The Ten Most Haunting Male Literary Characters. See the original article for this story HERE I was actually quite fascinated with the list and could understand why many were put on this list, specifically, and I stress this, because it was done by the British. They have their own tastes and ideas and it was a decidedly British list.
What struck me was the reactionary post. It was written by a blog I follow, from a young author and I won’t name names because I’m not out to irritate people, but this thought came to me. How can you give honest criticism about why certain characters are not on the list, if you have not read most of what is on the list? How can you judge whether or not a character from a book you like should be on the list just because you think the character is haunting?
First off, let’s take the word Haunting.
: that haunts: such as
a : lingering in the consciousness : not readily forgotten <the cathedral organ and the distant voices have a beauty — Claudia Cassidy>
b : having a disquieting effect : disturbing <from two handsome and talented young men to two horrors of disintegration — Charles Lee>
I don’t see how anyone can really write without reading some of the more famous works. I never thought I would say that you need to read the classics. My father would kind of shoot me, but I honestly think you need to read some to get even the slightest grasp on character development and depth. And if you haven’t read most of the classics, don’t even try to complain about why Voldomort is not on a list but Heathcliff is. Don’t even go there.
And Haunting doesn’t mean evil. People, remember that!
Side Disclaimer: I have not nor will not ever read A Clockwork Orange, anything Stephen King or anything really disturbing.
Whew! Now that I’m done ranting, I want your input. Are you someone who thinks you need the classics? Do you think I’m off my rocker? How do you get your character development? And what do you think of the list of Haunting Male Characters?