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After writing a guest post on Likeable Characters, I got to wondering what other writers had to say on the topic. I found great info. Here are some tidbits, with links to each of the articles.
“Characters need strengths, flaws, goals, desires, fears, and everything else real people have,” says A. L. Sowards in her article, “Creating Flawed (But Likable) Characters.”
Marg McAlister talks about “Why Your Main Character Should be Likeable.”
“Without rich, relatable characters that readers can empathize with and root for, your story is toast,” Brianna da Silva says in a guest post titled “How to Make Readers Care About Your Characters.”
In “Five Ways to Create Likable Characters,” Janice Hardy says likable characters have common elements.
“Give your hero one redeeming quality or action (even if it’s small) at the beginning of the story.” That’s one of the tips in Jessica Brody’s post on “How to Make Unlikable Characters Likable.”
“Readers want to bond to the protagonist, feel as if they can step into their shoes and view the world through their eyes.” Heather Webb says in her article “Creating Likable Characters.”
“If you can establish a compelling reason for your character’s bad behavior or attitudes, readers will understand,” K.M. Weiland says in “4 Ways to Write a Likable Protagonist at the Start of His Character Arc.”
In “8 Ways to Make Your Characters More Relatable,” Robbie Blair advises, “Failure is a powerful tool for developing relatable characters. When we see a character who winds up defeated after a major struggle, we get the opportunity to see how they respond.” He also says, “If your character has a good reason for knowing something, they're more believable. If they've earned their competence, they become more compelling and likeable.” –“6 Ways to Save a Mary Sue”
Some great tips, eh?
If you have others, feel free to share in the comments.
SM Ford writes inspirational fiction for adults, although teens may find the stories of interest, too. She also loves assisting other writers on their journeys.