Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

  • Mood:

Likeable Characters

This post asks if your main character should be likeable.

Let me be blunt: if I don't like the characters in a story, regardless of its format, I am unlikely to consume it.  Why would I spend hours with people I don't like?  If I enjoyed that, I'd go to parties.  There are better things I could be doing with my time.

That said, my taste in characters is pretty diverse.  I don't care for flat or stupid ones.  But I like unsullied heroes, and I like antiheroes if they're written well.  I like complex characters who grow and change, who face and overcome real problems.  I don't want them to be perfect, because I enjoy seeing them struggle with their flaws.  I just don't like assholes.

Sometimes, of course, a character grows on me.  It was someone else who spotted Shiv's real damage, which got me interested, and the more I explored, the more I liked the pesky litter fucker.  And then his fan base grew from about two people, to dozens; he's now one of my most popular characters.  He's still kind of a dick, but it's easier to put up with when we know why, and he's actually making effort on a few things he cares about, such as professional development.

You can write unlikeable characters if that's what you enjoy.  Just understand that you'll be paddling upstream with many readers. 
Tags: how to, networking, writing
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 3 comments