At Thurber House we often find ourselves in deep discussion about the latest book we’ve read, and most recently, with the Adult Writing Workshop coming up on Developing Characters in Your Fiction, we began to talk about our favorite fictional character. Members of our team were asked to submit their all-time favorite, though some of us had a hard time picking just one! So here it is, the Thurber House Staff list of favorite fictional character(s):
The character(s): Jane Eyre, Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird, Kate Vaiden, Lord Peter Wimsey in Dorothy Sayers’ mysteries and the magnificent Count of Monte Cristo.
The staffer: Susanne Jaffe, Executive Director
Susanne says: “This is such a difficult question to answer in a sentence or two or to even name just one character, so I’m not even going to try. For me, these are characters who live within me long after the last page of the book has been read. They are memorable and unforgettable because they possess human characteristics embellished through the brilliant writing of great authors.”
The character: Gulley Jimson from The Horse’s Mouth
The staffer: Amanda Fondriest, General House Administrator
Amanda says: “NPR recommended this book, and I pretty much do everything NPR says:) I like Jimson because the photographer or the soon-to-be-wife-of-a-musician in me relates to him on a personal level – he makes me feel comfortable and reminds me that most dreams aren’t supported or understood by others because if everyone saw the madness in the pursuit, it wouldn’t make the finished product nearly as valuable.”
The character: The silver-tongued vampire Lestat from Vampire Chronicles
The staffer: Anne Touvell, Deputy Executive Director
Anne says: “Lestat is complex, wise, wickedly clever and at times totally reckless. He also has an insatiable appetite for knowledge and is deliciously evil. For me Lestat is the greatest character I have ever met in a book. He is the gold standard vampire, no others compare.”
The character(s): Milo from Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze, Quillow from The Great Quillow, Walter Mitty from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and all the characters from The Help
The staffer: Pat Shannon, Director of Education
Pat says: “Ever since Alan Silberberg came as our Children’s Writer in Residence in 2008, I have loved his character Milo, the “loveable geek.” I’m also very fond of Thurber’s characters, Quillow and Walter Mitty. Now that I think about it, they are both dreamers and underdogs … hmmmm.”
None of these characters would have been quite as memorable without the creative story around it. To discover the secrets of good writing, sign up for one or more of our Adult Writing Workshops. Classes teach you storytelling best practices, tips for genre writing and character development. Hope to see you there!