Chat Between Chapters: Jobs of Characters in books

September 3, 2017 Chat Between Chapters, Featured Posts 2


Let’s chat about the jobs a character may have. Do their jobs really matter?  Does the character even NEED a job?

Julie Review Avatar Julie:

Honestly, most characters appear to not have much of a job, or if they do, their jobs are so flexible that they can run off on some heroic journey and all is well.

Many of my characters are YA, so they’re in school so they apparently can just ditch it whenever they like. No one will notice, it’s cool.

I feel like jobs are so rarely focused on in these books, like in real life can I just not work for a few days and nothing happens? DOUBT IT!

I liked how in the Halfway Witchy books the main character’s job is part of her personality, and she does talk about getting coverage before she takes on a mission.



I agree with Julie that in some cases, especially with YA, the character’s jobs are really not relevant. Or often barely mentioned. There are some exceptions:

The jobs in the Stephanie Plum series are essential character qualities. Stephanie is a bumbling bounty hunter; Joe is a cop; Ranger does whatever Ranger does, let’s call that private security. Even the secondary characters like Lulu and Vinny are defined by their jobs.

The same applies to the Marked Men series by Jay Crownover. The stories revolve around a tattoo shop, and the artists who work there. Even the spin off series Saints of Denver has carpenters and lawyers.

When I think of most characters, though, their jobs are not what first comes to mind!


How about you? Are there any characters with distinct jobs that you can recall?


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2 Responses to “Chat Between Chapters: Jobs of Characters in books”

  1. Rachel @ Chocolate and Chapters

    I think it depends on the genre, usually! With contemporary books (either adult or YA), I’ve definitely noticed more mentions of jobs/careers. Because we expect our characters in today’s day and age to have jobs. If they don’t, it’s strange to us. But think about historical fiction, fantasy, or really any other genre. Usually a character’s job might be mentioned here and there, but it’s not a huge part of the story. Sometimes it is if it’s a main topic in the book (like a person who works in a hat shop and wants to open her own, so that’s the story).

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