Monday, January 27, 2014

Relic Tech: Character Commentary

I thought I'd post a "montage" of reader commentary (excerpts) from reviews and emails on the main character, Class 4 Security Specialist Krakista Keesay, and other characters in Relic Tech, and then discuss my thoughts on them at the end.

"The main character is masterfully written, and you care for his success." --Photog

"The story line flowed well, characters weren't superheroes but got the job done and the tech was interesting to say the least!" --Randy

"Use by the protagonist of an old style handgun for its noise effect reminds me of Robert A. Heinlein`s BEYOND THIS HORIZON." -- IA Wilhite

"...I liked the action well developed hero I think." --J. Anthony

"I loved the book, the characters, and the action." --Joseph E. Karpinski

"The hero seems to attract action." --David Hughes

"Believable characters." --sig18

"The main character is not a likable person. Most specifically he is an ass. He is constantly picking fights with the people he encounters and interacts with." --Cary G Anderson

"Quirky unpredictable characters, and a complete story line." --tatemjr

"Loved the hero and aliens and really hated the bad guys." --rog wadkins

 "Our hero is obviously the underdog in just about every situation but his willingness to do what is necessary to extricate himself (and his duty task) is at times awe inspiring." -- W.L. Hatfield

"A religious killer TSA type among simplistic bad aliens and corporations." --JL Curtis

"A likeable main character and believable supporting cast with plenty of action for those who like it fast and furious." --Phillip McGregor

"Kra was a great character who I grew to like through the book. Being a relic tech gets him looked down on quite a bit, but he just uses that to his advantage when people underestimate him. He is a smart guy who is extremely combat capable and a bit lucky as well. He makes himself some fine friends and some terrible enemies and those characters each have distinct personalities to love or hate as well." --Bookblogger

"He navigates from one crisis to another, each demanding cunning, toughness, and skill with ancient weapons." --Dean S. Sault

"...characters you can love (and hate) and a plot that catches you from the beginning and pulls you through to the end. You'll be cheering for Specialist Keesay all the way through this thrilling ride!" --Bookylove

I tried not to take any quote out of context. What I find interesting is the varied reactions to the characters, especially Specialist Keesay. He's liked and respected by most readers, while some can take him or leave him and others think he's a jerk, or worse.

Even though this post focuses on reader comments on the characters in Relic Tech, it isn't a character-driven novel. Most of my works balance plot/action and character development. Some might even say it leans more toward plot-driven, and many comments and reviews focus on the action and concept the SF novel contains.

In any case, this reminds me of beta-reader and crit group comments. Nowhere near 100% were happy with all aspects of the characters or storyline, but the trend of comments and views of the quoted readers above reflect what the beta-readers and crit partners had to say. So, I guess there's a lesson there. Listen to readers, both before and after publication, realizing you can't please everyone. Still, learn from what they have to say and, in the end, focus on telling the best story you can.


  1. It's very true that what one reader will love, another will hate. Your takeaway is sound: listen, learn and write. :)

    1. You're right, Jeff. Listen, learn and move forward. Thanks!