Fiction is full of characters we have a love-hate relationship with

Do You Have a Love-Hate Relationship With Your Characters?

Is it possible for an author to have a love-hate relationship with her fictional characters?

Merriam-Webster defines a love-hate relationship as “strong feelings of both love and hatred for someone.”

The website Love Bondings takes that a step further, stating that the strong feelings can occur in any time of relationship – romantic, familial or “between a human and an object.”

“It is a noted fact that closeness, intimacy, and attachment towards a person is what paves way for both love and hatred,” the website says, “for we would never care so much as to be so intensely sensitive towards someone who didn’t really matter at all.”

The website goes on to point out that the love and the hate can be equally intense.

Taking all this into consideration, then, yes, an author can have a such a relationship with her creations.

I love my characters dearly as if they were living, breathing people.  To me they are alive.  However, by the time I’ve gone through multiple drafts, I hate all my stories.  As the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt.  This doesn’t stop me from being proud of characters’ “accomplishments” or talking about them.

Most Hated Fictional Characters

There are hundreds of fictional characters in literature that readers love to hate.  Here are the some of the most popular:

  • Collins from Pride and Prejudice
  • Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter
  • Catherine Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights
  • Sauron from The Lord of the Rings
  • Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby
  • Alec d’Urberville from Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • Humbert Humbert from Lolita
  • Anna Karenina from Anna Karenina
  • President Snow from the Hunger Games
  • Pearl from The Scarlet Letter
  • Amy Dunne from Gone Girl
  • Dorian Gray from The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Edward Cullen from Twilight
  • Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • Patrick Bateman from American Psycho
  • Eva Katchadourian from We Need to Talk about Kevin
  • Dominique Francon fromThe Fountainhead

(Sources:  Huffpost, Bustle, The Bookish Libra and Thought Catalogue)

Did some of your picks make the list?  Leave a comment below.

Learn More About My Books

I’m a multi-genre author of numerous books.  I write contemporary fiction, historical fiction and nonfiction.

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