Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Create Characters Readers Care About

“Readers must never feel indifferent towards any character otherwise they will lose interest in the story and not finish it.” -- Sarah Todd in Creating a Character for a Horror Story.
I'm working on a story in which the main character isn't a nice person. The critiques I've received so far indicate the readers don't like the man, but aren't turned off enough to stop reading. Based on some of the comments, they certainly don't feel indifferent towards him. :) This shows me that a character doesn't have to be nice to grab the reader's attention. He does have to be believable and consistent. The latter is important to a character's development. He can't be believable if he isn't consistent in his dialog and actions.


Koala Bear Writer said...

I think the best example of this is Scarlett O'Hara - I've never heard anyone say they liked her. We want to slap her most of the time, but we still keep reading. Maybe because she's too much like the rest of us. Or because Rhett Butler is so likable. :)

Jim Harrington said...

Hannibal Lecter is another character I've seen cited as one the read should hate, but can't.