Is your protagonist likable?

How do you know? #writetip I ask four or five early readers. On my first novel, my husband was my first reader. I expected him to tell me I was fabulous, my writing was great, and he’d never read anything better. Well, that’s what husbands are for. Right?

So after he did all the above, he said he didn’t like my protagonist. Wasn’t I surprised. She was whiny and negative. Not a great personality if you’re going to spend 300 pages with her. We had a detailed discussion about why he thought this and it was back to work for me. I liked her, but I had to think hard about why others might not.

Now, I ask all my early readers to tell me what they do and don’t like about my main characters. This helps me gain perspective on the characters and think about who I want them to be.

If you’ve read a few of my posts, you’ll know I depend on my early readers. I can’t thank them enough for helping me, spending their time reading my drafts, and being willing to comment. The conversations after they’d read my work are often invigorating. Who said writing was lonely?


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