So, I'm a character girl. I love intriguing characters. A book, movie, TV show, or what have you could be set in a white void, and as long as the characters are great, I'll love it. Don't get me wrong, location is fun, too. Anne Rice is really good at location description, but once I got it, I got it, ya know? After reading Interview with the Vampire, I pretty much just skimmed the description in her other books. Some people say, "Location is a character, too," which can be true. Like in Harry Potter or The Hunger Games or The Shining or Firefly. Those examples might be more literal than what those people are meaning, though. But it seems easy to me (and I use the word "easy" very loosely here because writing, especially good writing, is never easy) to make a setting a character in say a fantasy or horror novel. I think I might be getting off track here...
Anyway, back to characters... Like I said on Friday, I've started watching Downton Abbey. What a wonderful example of great characters. I goofed up though. I started watching season 2 first and didn't realize it until I was almost done with the ones that are out so far. So, last night I started at the beginning with season 1 and something was revealed about a character that I didn't know even after watching 7 or 8 episodes of the second season (I won't give any spoilers, but for those who do watch DA, I will say this: THOMAS!).
Anyway, that one thing changed my view of that character, not in a decidedly good or bad way, but I now look at him just... differently. And that's why I consider this show a shining example of character building. The thing is, you never know what a character will do just like you never know what people will do. None of the characters so far are straight up good or bad. They're real people. They make mistakes, sometimes intentionally, and because of that, they are more human than almost any of the characters I've ever read or watched. I can only wish that someday I'll be able to write characters as good as these.
So, what about you guys? Are you a setting or a character person? Do you watch Downton Abbey and, if so, what do you think about it? What other stories can you think of where the setting was a character? Post in the comments!