I think every writer wants the reader to remember the characters they create long after the book is read and put on the shelf. And, as I pondered this, a couple characters came to mind. Scarlett O'hara, Capt. Ahab, Black Beauty, Johnny Castle and all those Disney princesses.
But what is it about these characters that make them memorable? I have a couple thoughts...
First, they have strong personalities. Or at least well defined ones.
Next, they take us to places we've never been to or might never get the chance to visit. We get to share their world through how they live and see things.
Also, characters do and say things that we might never dare do or say.
We identify with these characters. We bond with them, share in the journey they take, struggle, and eventually rejoice with them.
We all know it's a hard road to publication and the future looks even more difficult. But I believe there are always going to be readers. No matter what happens in the real world, people will want to be entertained. They'll want to escape to other worlds and become part of it. They'll want to become that character and take part of his or her adventure.
This is where memorable characters come in. The more memorable our character, the better chance we have of publication.
So...what characters do you remember best and what makes them memorable for you?