What Do You Mean “Favorite”?

I was at a basketball game for a friend’s kid today.  End of the season.  Tournament time!  They won their first game and had an hour before their second.  We sat outside in the sun while the kids snacked and rested a little.  I was talking to my friend and her younger child about school. They were discussing costumes for an upcoming spirit-type day.  The kids at their school were supposed to dress up as their favorite book character, and she was having trouble deciding who to be.

“Maybe, I’ll dress up like a mockingbird.”

“A mockingbird?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she said. “Like, To Kill a Mockingbird.

“There’s not really a mockingbird as a character in that book,” I told her.

“Oh.” She thought for a minute.  “Who’s your favorite character from a book?”

I stared at her. “Child, that’s like asking me to choose a favorite book, which is like asking me to pick a favorite breath of air in a day.”

Give me a specific genre, and I MIGHT be able to pick a favorite (or two) book. Give me a specific book and I MIGHT be able to choose a favorite character.  But those aren’t even guarantees.  In some books, I like the characters all equally.  In some, there are certain characters that stand out, that reach out and grab a special piece of my heart.  This is true in my own writings as well.  Some stories have all characters created equal, some don’t.  And my favorites are not always the most obvious choices. I tend to like the secondary main characters: the sidekicks, the siblings, the best friends.  You know the ones: the Samwise Gamgee’s or Neville Longbottoms.

How about you. Do any of you have a book character you could genuinely identify as a favorite above and beyond all others?  If so, I’d love to hear!

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~ by sdbullard on February 28, 2016.

4 Responses to “What Do You Mean “Favorite”?”

  1. Nothing having to do with this post, particularly (though I agree – I’ve always been aggravated by the ‘favorite’ question. I find it especially annoying when it’s one of the options for ‘secret question’ password reset options).

    I just wanted to say I read your flash fiction entry on Janet Reid’s blog just now and WOW! If you don’t at least pull a finalist from that entry I’ll be surprised. Well done!

  2. Jane Eyre was always a character I could identify with – she’s the reason I learned to love the classics. 🙂

    • My sister loved Jane Eyre. I read it once, but kept getting stuck on all the French passages. I’m more of an Elizabeth Bennett fan when it comes to the classics.

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