Hateful Main Characters
Hateful Main Characters- a great review!
I just read a review of Veiled Mist, my YA novel, written by Sharon on Goodreads, which I loved. So before I say why I loved it here is the review:
Dec 09, 13
5 of 5 stars
Read from November 26 to December 09, 2013
I rate this 4.5 stars.
I will admit that the beginning didn’t really catch my interest. It was just not great…I put the book down many times without bothering to pick it up again for a while. Plus, Hanna’s character is just horrible & I hated her at first. She was terrible.
But after the first quarter of the book, the plot caught my attention. The character’s started growing to me, and I couldn’t seem to put the book down.
And I am not ashamed to admit that at the ending, I was so full of emotions, I cried such a good book has come to an end:((
I LOVED IT<3
A few readers have had difficulty in getting hooked to the novel because it opens with a mean, annoying, selfish and unlikeable character: Hanna. I guess I did a really good job if people have such strong feelings toward her! It is uncommon to have an odious main character in the opening act, but I wanted to start the story mirroring a real life situation, because my inspiration is a close family member, and even myself at that age.
I believed readers would soon realize Hanna couldn’t be the main character to a book full of magic and not go through change. As the writer, I hope the readers will give her a chance, bet that life will wear her down, that good overcomes evil. That a person like Hanna will, at some point, have to look herself in the mirror, face what stares back at and hopefully be ashamed enough to change.
I also wanted to show how people like Hanna do change, or/and can be forced to change by the people who surround her. I balanced her nasty characters with good, strong characters, and funny even, aside from a few loving and fragile ones.
So if you can’t root for Hanna as the story opens, you can root for Ornella to achieve her goal, or enjoy the Count’s hilarious comments and attitudes. The secondary characters represent the people in our lives who force us to look in the mirror. Who show us what we can lose if we don’t better ourselves.
There were scenes in which I couldn’t use my muse as I didn’t know her well enough because she fights to keep herself on the surface, as superficial as possible and sometimes as false as possible. And because she will not look into herself she is stuck for now. Of course she still has time to change as age is on her side, just like Hanna.
So in order to write about what goes on with a character that refuses to look in the mirror I had to go somewhere else for the inspiration, and the only person I could truly dig into was myself. Wow, what a trip. I have had many hard times in my life and, because of all that, I had to make changes in myself. Years went by and I forgot about the beginning.
While writing the scenes that I used myself for research I struggled with the shame I felt for who I was as a teen. Not my entire character shamed me but certain attitudes. The memories flooded back and I was pleased in a way because I got to know myself a little better. I realized that I had to tone down my tendency to judge others harshly. I had to look a little deeper before forming an opinion. I had to look under the surface!
And I ask myself- does Hanna’s personality annoy readers because she’s such a mean person or because she reminds them of someone? Maybe sometimes of themselves at some point in their lives, or of others who hurt them. Some readers may react by not wanting to read on because those memories, or realities, are unpleasant. To those I say, keep reading because Hanna comes through in such a beautiful way she is an inspiration to us all.
To Sharon who wrote the review- thank you for not giving up on Hanna!!! And thank you for your great review.