Characters need to be believable. In order for you to feel any emotional attachment, they need to be relatable at a certain level. Maybe they have no parents, or have issues with girls. Maybe they have huge ears or greasy hair. Maybe they have all of the above … poor kid… or just the one, but if they show a chink in the armour, us mere mortals immediately feel at one with them.
Harry Potter’s arch enemy Snape (yes, I am a Potter geek) became more than just evil when we discovered he was bullied as a child and had a freaky bloodline. Snape took me through emotional turmoil.. Good? Evil? Hero? Villain? And that kept me hooked on those books from page one. Harry himself is hardly hero material… Glasses, weedy… but yet I still wanted him to win the Tri Wizard Tournament and Marry Ginny. Rowling illustrated in my imagination such a believable character that I simply, well… believed in him!
Anne Rice creates a fantastic conundrum with her vampire novels. In one book you may learn about a vampires life, Vampire Lestat lets just say. Rice pours her skill in to describing the trials through his making and immortality - you become immediately immersed in his personality. When a group of vampires attacks him, you jump to his defence and assume that Lestat could do no wrong. In another book however, Lestat could become an anti-hero to the new lead character, and you begin to despise that which you once loved.
I love to read, and have a passion for books that get me wrapped and looped in to a story of which I can’t escape. Those are the sort of books you read again and again. Those are the sort of games you play.. and then play again with a walkthrough.