How do you know if your character is likeable? #writetip Or at least sympathetic, or interesting, or has some characteristic that will keep your readers reading?
When I started writing, I couldn’t figure this out. Then I discovered it’s easier to tell if a character is unlikable or uninteresting. I started to look, and I mean seriously look, at books where I couldn’t connect with a character.
Things that bother me:
- A character who’s having a pity party for one for tooooooo long.
- A character that does nothing but whine.
- A character that is all evil – really there has to be something more than evil.
To me, a character who has a likeable trait, any trait, makes them sympathetic.
Maybe they have a kind streak. Say the character is about to commit a crime, or has just committed a crime, and they stop and help a dog that’s been hit by a car and it lying at the side of the road. That might make me cheer for their escape – depending on the crime of course.
Maybe they put something or someone ahead of their own desires.
Maybe they have a sense of humour.
But mostly, they need to care about something. If they don’t care about anything, how can I care about them? And if I don’t care, why would I keep reading?