- The reluctant hero. They achieve much more than they anticipate and I always sympathise with those who have their lives turned upside down, even fictional lives! Frodo Baggins is a great example of this, Harry Potter another.
- The heroine who is every bit as "worthy" as her male counterpart and frankly is often better. I've never liked female characters who were there to look pretty and scream. I always (and still do) want my heroines (whether I write them or read about them) to do whatever they can to get out of danger, trouble etc or to rectify a problem and to contribute positively. Hermoine Granger springs to mind here. As does Velma from Scooby Doo. As does Elizabeth Bennett.
- The seemingly insignificant character who proves to be the lynchpin eventually. Because they add so much to the story. Because it is nice to be taken by surprise by a character. Because it makes you look back again at what the author has written and you realise the clues were there. This one is particularly valid for crime fiction of course but fairytales also use them widely. After all The Ugly Duckling was widely despised...
- The funny character. Humorous characters cheer up everyone else, including those reading about them!
- The narrator, reliable or otherwise. They contribute significantly to the story and the really good ones put plenty of red herrings in your way. After all you have to make yourself remember you are reading the story from their viewpoint. A great example of a narrator led story is The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. Highly recommend it, though there were complaints about how she wrote this. Personally, I think it is a great book.
I'm Allison Symes and write fairytales with bite, especially novels and short stories.