I haven’t been reading or responding much to others blogs because I’ve been in thrall to the novel I’m working on. I now have a complete draft meaning I know who the people are and where the story goes, but the characters are incomplete as people.
I thought it would be useful to me (and anyone who might read the book later!) to find out what readers (you) like. I’d be very grateful for answers to the following few questions regarding what you like to see in characters, especially (but not only) characters in historical fiction.
If you could respond in comments it would be great. The most useful way for me would be something simple like V – 2. Other comments are also very much appreciated.
I. How important is it for you to know what the people in the story are wearing?
1 — very important
2 — useful in understanding the era
3 — doesn’t matter to me at all
II. How much detail do you want of how the people live?
1 — I want to know everything
2 — Just enough to get a sense of the time
3 — I only like enough detail to move the story along
III. How much do you want from the author about the personalities of the characters?
1 — A lot. I want the author to describe the characters personalities in detail
2 — Just enough to get a sense of how the characters might act in certain situations
3 — The author should stay out of it and let the characters reveal their personalities through their choices and behavior
IV. How much do you want to know about what the characters look like?
1 — I want detailed description of the appearance of the important characters
2 — Just enough so that I have a sense of who each character is; I’ll fill in the blanks with my imagination.
V. How much description do you want of settings in a story?
1 — Give me a detailed description of every place the characters go. It’s the past and I don’t live there.
2 — I want a sense of the appearance of things — enough description that I know how they conduct their daily lives but not so much that I feel I’m in a museum
3 — I like descriptions of things as the characters themselves notice them because their world is normal to them.