Monday, September 11, 2006

Ownership

So last night I did some blog-hopping and found this article about the next Bridget Jones book (link found via PBW, Alison Kent, Bookseller Chick & Meg Cabot). What Helen Fielding is thinking of doing to Bridget (if the article is correct) disturbs me, but what I found really interesting were the comments below the article.

One person said:
And what about Bridget's character? She has totally changed. All of this character development has all been for nothing, because Bridget is no wiser.
Another:
I feel she has been playing around with her audience and is so out of touch with the real character she created 10 years ago.
The basic gist of the comments was that Ms Fielding has betrayed her character and her audience by taking Bridget in this new direction. Which brings up the idea of ownership of fictional characters. Clearly, the readers who commented felt that they had some stake in Bridget, because they'd stuck with her through three books. However Ms Fielding probably feels that Bridget is hers. After all, she wrote the character in the first place.

What do you think? If a beloved author decided to do something completely unexpected with a character you'd grown to love, something that just struck you as wrong, what would your reaction be? And who do you think has emotional ownership of long-running series' characters?

(By the way, remember Misery? Now there was a fan who had a problem with an author's decision re her favorite character).

4 comments :

eatrawfish said...

This happens to me all the time with TV shows. I suppose because they are on Season Three and they need more conflict they think suddenly having our hero/heroine behave stupid/insane/out-of-character is OK. I usually stop watching at that point. They better have set it up real well.

Even if it makes some sense I may still bail. People do stupid things that don't make good sense in reality all the time - and generally I don't enjoy watching that either.

I can be a bit hard on people and characters though. ;)

Nalini Singh said...

eatrawfish - re the TV show thing - me too!! Everything's going along fine and then the characters go off the rails. I just don't get it. Why mess with what works????

Sara Hantz said...

OMG I can't believe she's dumped Darcy for Cleaver. That's VERY disappointing!!!!! She must be barking...

Devonna said...

Now that's just wrong. Mark Darcy is the better man. Daniel Cleaver's a bum.