What Makes a Novel Unforgettable?

I fell in love with a character.  And, no, he wasn’t some handsome rouge in the latest romance, but he was original and well-developed.  He was the main character in a novel that, in itself, was not a completely unique book (although is quite good).  This character, however, drives the plot in a really subtle and interesting way.

He struggles, constantly, with the responsibilities in his life, but also with an inner battle.  Something in his genetics makes him unpredictable and easy to anger, but he hates this fact and tries to remain in control.

This inner-battle is so well-developed, but in such a subtle way, that I was able to forgive things in his character that I never thought possible.  For example, when he is angered, he actually kills innocent people, people he cares for.  Normally, I couldn’t imagine a character that could commit such an act and still hold my interest and respect, but he did.

I read eagerly, wanting desperately to understand him, even as I rooted that he’d overcome his natural instincts in each challenging situation.  And so, I read this novel with ease.  I didn’t mind that the plot was somewhat expected from a fantasy, because this character made it unique and interesting.

This led me to wonder: is a character enough to make a novel unforgettable?  I, for one, have spent weeks reviewing, in my mind, some of the moments in this novel.  However, I’m an aspiring author, so I can’t be sure this intriguing character would be enough to hold the interest of someone who is reading to read, not to analyze.

What do you think?


About lisamorrowbooks

Lisa Morrow is a life-long reader who treasures fantasy in all forms. Being a middle child in a large family gave her a unique perspective on the world, but few experiences compare to her time spent studying abroad in Cambridge, England and wandering throughout Europe. After her travels, Lisa settled down in Arizona to teach junior high English, and later, to spend time with her young children, husband, and cats. To some people, her life may seem quiet. But to her, every day is spent in a world colored by the imagination of children, and fantastical worlds created by her very own mind.
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