Are there characters that you *know* are annoying, and you completely understand why other people hate them, yet you somehow like them anyway? How do you emphasize these characters' positive qualities in your fic, to make them . . . you know, tolerable? Personally . . . ::snivelly, tearful confession:: I like . . . Anakin Skywalker. ::ducks volley of rocks:: I know he's whiny, he's self-centered, he's arrogant . . . he makes Obi-Wan's life a living hell, he repeatedly uses terrible pick-up lines, he's coarse and irritating, and he gets everywhere . . . . . . umm, yeah. What could I possibly like about this guy? I . . . don't know, really. I think it's that there's a vulnerability about him--which doesn't excuse anything he does, certainly--but which puts the awful things he does in perspective. He's not like Palpatine, who is (presumably) evil to the core. The horrible things Anakn/Vader does are like a scarily grown-up version of the actions of a frantic little kid--"I'll destroy this toy so you can't take it away from me" kind of stuff. Not everybody will buy George's claim that all of this is "tragic" rather than "just incredibly stupid," but at least Anakin's a human kind of screwy instead of a monstrous kind of screwy. I've tried to play up his more innocent, childlike qualities (easier for me, since I've been writing him as a teenager) and to at least put human motivations behind all the psycho stuff. A lot of my readers hate him anyway, but some of them do say they hate him . . . less.