Does the above line ring a bell? If you have read, watched the film adaptation or even heard of Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” book series, you might recognize the eclectic speech patterns of the waif-like hobbit, Gollum, otherwise known as Sméagol.
Well-known for his slinky appearance and treacherous nature, Gollum serves as a primary source of both sympathy and disdain for many fans. Why the sympathy? Well, simply stated, he used to be pretty human – before his destructive desire for the One Ring consumed both his physical health and sanity.
Not too different from Gollum, many people in real life – though perhaps to a lesser extent – have encountered either in themselves or others the positive and negative outcome of dealing with life’s challenges. In other words, most people are multi-faceted human beings, each with their own complex motivations for doing what they do. That type of well-rounded persona makes for a relatable character, because readers like to empathize with a character’s desires as easily as possible. They want to see goals and weakness – something real humans deal with – in these fictional people.
So, to writers, I ask – who is your most well-rounded character, and what makes them tick? Are they your favorite character to write? Why or why not?
Readers – What’s your opinion on redeemable antagonists? Does every villain have to find redemption?
P.S. For those of you who do not follow me on social media, Sci-Fi debut Apex Five is up for an Author Academy Award. If you have read and enjoyed or simply like the Amazon blurb, feel free to vote using this link (navigate to page 13 and click on the cover image of Apex Five)! Your support means EVERYTHING.