Sunday, April 24, 2011

U is for Underdog

Dear Underdog,

There is something very special about watching you come out on top in stories.  Sure, it can be fun to watch the Knight in Shining Armor win the day, but I have a soft spot for those tales where the unexpected hero has the moment of glory.  I love the characters who surprise me--the ones often underestimated as too weak to be useful, or too nervous or too bashful or any of a dozen other things.  There is something incredible about watching these characters walk into their greatest fear while still being terrified, about watching the bullied stand up to the bully, about the quiet, shy character finding a voice.

With appreciation,
A Fan

*Do you like the underdog characters?  If so, do you have a favorite that you have read/written?


  1. I think everyone loves an underdog, not sure why though. Maybe we all feel the odds are against us too. I wonder if rich and privileged people root for the posh kids.

    Moody Writing

  2. I always used to like the underdog, until I realized that *everyone* liked the underdog, and that most underdogs were written to garner our sympathy. Then my natural contrariness rose up, and now I tend to avoid them if I can!

  3. I absolutely love rooting for the underdog. I guess some of the characters in The Help could be considered that...probably why I loved them so.
    ~ Wendy

  4. I always root for the underdog - you should see my march madness brackets.
    happy u day (and tag, u r it! visit me if you want to play =)

  5. Underdog is a popular choice today (I did it too!) And I love them for the very reasons you stated. The Knight in shining armor doesn't always get to win.

  6. I love underdog stories. I love stories, like the Count of Monte Cristo, Shawshank Redemption, where the main character is thrown unfairly in prison. Love it. And I write it too. :)

  7. I always root for the underdog too.

  8. I'm a sucker for the underdog, and I know I'm not alone in that. It's that whole regular guy (or girl) who overcomes the odds (and the trained professionals) to reach that dream.

  9. There definitely is something about the underdog character. I've found that I'm really starting to like the underdog pairings, too. Zuko/Katara, Kyle/Jessi, Damon/Elena...

    Admittedly, I find myself rooting for the underdog in a lot of L.J. Smith's novels.

    It's funny, I actually read a novel where the person you think is the underdog, actually wins the girl. That doesn't happen a lot. And I loved the way Jennifer DeLucy went the way she did with that.

    I, too, started writing (plotting, actually) a story where that happens. Maybe I'll write it out now. As I said earlier, there's just something about the underdog characters. Thanks for inspiring me again, Laur!

    It's also good to know I'm not the only one who likes underdogs (and because of it non Canon pairings sometimes).

  10. I do love an underdog, though I don't think I really have any. Or maybe my MC is an underdog and I just don't know it because I love her too much. She certainly shouldn't win at the end of the day. Hmm... Darnit, I don't know! :) Now I'm gonna have to go and think about it some more.

    East for Green Eyes

  11. I also enjoy rooting for the underdog, though I can't think of an example. It's the same in real life. If I'm watching a sports game and don't care about either team, I'll root for whoever's losing. Something different, but maybe related, is that I tend to root for the person who comes off as not such a great person. They may be the underdogs, in fact. People like Sawyer in "Lost." I also rooted for the car in "Christine." ;-p

  12. mood-It does make sense that maybe we like the underdog because we know what it is to be the underdog at times, too.

    Elouise-I am very intrigued by your viewpoint. I hadn't thought of most underdogs as being written to garner our sympathy. (Well, no more than any writer hopes that the readers will connect and sympathize with any character, underdog or not.) I'll have to think about this some more! Thanks for the thoughts. :D

    Wendy-There's something special about these sorts of characters, isn't there?

    Tara-I will try to check them out when I have some more time!

    NiaRaie-I really enjoyed your underdog post, too!

    Laura-Ooh, the unfairly thrown in prison characters! I was about to say that I've never written one of those, but I realized that's not exactly true. ;)

    M.J.- ^__^ They're fun to root for.

    Donna-That's a huge part of why I like them so much!

    Shanna-There are some underdog pairings I like, but you know me--I'm usually a canon shipper. ;) And you're right; it's always interesting when the underdog wins the girl when you weren't expecting it.

    Rosie-Quite a lot of my main characters would probably be considered underdogs, and I love getting to watch them grow and overcome the odds.

    Shannon-Ohh, very interesting about rooting for the person who comes off as not such a great person. (Like Sawyer--and look how much he ended up growing!)

  13. All I can think about is Neville in the Harry Potter books. He is my favorite character in the entire series.

  14. Rebecca, I thought about Neville when I was writing this. He is awesome. :D

  15. BTW, you have a 100 followers! yey for you!

  16. I had just noticed that and am trying to put together a THANK YOU post. (Thank you!!) :D :D


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!