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The Secret Charm of Fictitious Characters

What creates ‘appeal’ in a fictitious character?

Is it cute looks? Except in movies or a theatre setting, the looks of any character are limited. Surprisingly few works of fiction contain anything but the most superficial descriptions of the way their main characters appear physically; normally, appearance is referred to in passing, and with only one or two key details. This lack of description is in itself interesting: the gap or void it opens up invites reader contribution.

Is it sense of humour or ‘personality’? Again, without looking, you might be tempted to say yes. But again, a remarkable number of characters in fiction are largely humourless. This particularly applies to protagonists, who are quite aserious l