Best Character Award
Fact: The most important components of any story are the characters. The cleverest idea in the coolest setting can wow the reader, but only stories with great characters can attain classic status. Let's establish an award to recognize the Molly Millions, the Professor Snapes, the Paul Atreides, the Feyd Rautha Harkonnens, the Gandalfs, the Sarumans, the Enders, the Hiro Protagonists, the Ravens, the Y.T.'s, the Leggy Starlitzes, the Geds, the Hamlets, the Iagos, the Prosperos, the Victor Frankensteins, the Dorian Grays, the Captain Nemos, the Sherlock Holmes, the Shrikes, the Dirk Moonfires ;), the Tom Sawyers, the Ahabs, the Jack Aubreys, the Robbie the Robots, the Zaphod Beeblebroxes, the Rob-from-High-Fidelity's, the Jack Shaftoes, etc. -- the great, memorable characters of literature. Hopefully, it will even inspire authors to create more of these great inhabitants of their stories.
I think there would need to be 4 new categories implemented:
"Best Major Character in a novel length work (published stories of 45,000+ words)"
"Best Minor Character in a novel length work (published stories of 45,000+ words)"
"Best Major Character in a short work (published stories of fewer than 45,000 words)"
"Best Minor Character in a short work (published stories of fewer than 45,000 words)"
Sure, characters from the winners of the "Best Novel", "Best Novelette", "Best Short Story", etc. categories would often win these categories, but what's the harm in that? There would also be those occasions when a really great character from a runner-up - or even from an otherwise un-nominated book - could be recognized.
I'm serious about this. Let's get a movement started - let's get this into the ballots at at least a few of the major literary awards. What do you think?
( I know what Leggy Starlitz would answer: "Yes. No. Maybe.")