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Friday, October 5, 2012

I Like You

Creepy Cothrans :)

Short and easy post today and a picture of my boys to make you laugh :)

How do you make your main character likeable? I really want to know, so give me your secrets and I can talk about it a little more next week.

Have a great weekend!

-Angie

24 comments:

Donna K. Weaver said...

Good question. I think for characters I like in books I read I need to relate or sympathize with them at some level.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

This is tough, because I did what we're told to do to make characters likeable, and some people still didn't like one of mine. I did what I could, but then realized it was subjective. Those individuals didn't connect with her sarcastic nature, which was there for a reason. When I cut back on it, as one person who didn't like my character suggested, someone else (who had read the book before) complained that I had changed the voice that she loved. You just can't win!!!

Suzi said...

I've had this issue too. And it's tough, especially if your character is somebody who is broken... who has a crappy past which formed their bad attitude.

I'm planning my next WIP and have a character like that. One thing I'm thinking of doing is showing her softer side when it comes to animals. She may not care about people but she cares about other creatures. Hopefully that'll help.

Sarah McCabe said...

I think it's simple. I just make characters that I like. Then I make sure that the reasons I like them are obvious in the story, not just locked away as part of my arcane author knowledge.

Libby said...

I should make them likeable, but I don't. I find what I like about them and then just try to make them real.

ilima said...

I don't know how to write likable characters. I can never please everybody. But I do know that my favorite characters to read are 1) relate-able in some way, and 2) are not perfect.

S.P. Bowers said...

This is hard. I'm still working on that. If you get a lot of great advice you should do a post about it. :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Give them a little flaw. Something that makes them human.

Freya Morris said...

Interesting. To make a character likeable (even a villain) - it takes explanation. You need to see if from their perspective - see their rational thoughts.

If you show a character punching another, you'll straight away - hate them. But if you show how that character came to hit them - ie, perhaps the other person teased them, and their parents taught them never to take any abuse.

You must show their fears too. So this character may have hit the other, because they were afraid that they might be walked over later. Or that they might hit them. etc etc.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Ha! Cute picture!
Honestly, I often times think about people I actually like and why I like them. :)

Samantha May said...

That picture ---> :D

I like characters that I could actually imagine meeting in person. So I guess part of what makes them likable is whether or not they're believable.

Jessie Humphries said...

Haha, the "creepy Cothrans." That is clever.

Susan Francino said...

lol. Ummmmhmmm there are so many ways to answer this question. I think that in my experience, it has come down to figuring out what drives a character (what their deepest desires and fears are)-- and the result of that should be 1) that the reader can understand them and 2) that their fears and desires feed into a compelling inner conflict.

For a possibly better answer, I'm remembering something in Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. Flaws make characters believable, but their *strengths* are what make us love them. So revealing a character's unique strengths early on is key.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Funny pic!
How to make a character likeable . . .give them a few flaws and some great strengths, and let them interact with their "friends" or loved ones a little bit towards the beginning to see we can see what they are like with their hair down . . .

Angela Brown said...

Hmmm...got to love family :-)

The characters I tend to love are those who are flawed. Even if they are beautiful, they're flawed in some way that I can't help sympathizing with them. Then I'm stuck with them for the rest of the book.

Trisha said...

I used to think my MC was totally loveable...till I got a critique that told me "I hate her, I want her to die!" hahaha. So yeah, that was a wake up call.

For me, likeable characters are strong-willed and kick-arse, but they are also able to admit that they're not perfect, at least in the long run.

jamieayres.com said...

You have to make them real, so they're relatable, but more interesting (and for me, funny) than the average joe:-)

Robin said...

Yup, relatable is HUGE for me. If I can say I felt that way when I did x (even if it was totally different) you've nailed it for me.

I'm working on this as well. It's not enough for them to be nice and flawed-and I need flaws-I have to understand the feelings behind their feelings.

I'm looking forward to your post next week!

Cassie Mae said...

I make them versions of me! Haha!

No, I kid, I kid. I think the main thing to remember is that not everybody IS likeable. They could be a total beast, and you can keep reading. Why? Because of their VOICE. ;) Voice is everything :)

Tara Tyler said...

make them real, with good qualities of character, and flaws we can overlook, but they have trouble with. just like us! and good looking helps, but not too good looking...ha!

kelly said...



The likeability equation?

Anger + humor
Evil + illness
And when in doubt, add a best friend or relative who loves them despite it all

Emily R. King said...

I like an MC who has tons of emotional angst. I want lots of room for them to grow by the end of the book. :)

Kathryn Purdie said...

I need to understand why they do what they do (their motivation for doing it). But, above all, I need to see the character thinking of someone or something more than themselves. The most unlikeable character can be suddenly liked, if I see even one someone he/she cares for, does something kind for. It's the pet the kitty thing, and it's so important!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Ha! I love the pic! As far as making a character likeable? Make them like your boys in that pic. That'll do it. :)

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