Best friends are never perfect. If they were, we wouldn’t consider them a best friend. Who wants to sit across the table from a friend who reminds us of all of the things we fail at?
Characters are much like a best friend for the reader. They spend hours with them while they read our novels. They want the hero/heroine to be someone they like.
How to create a character readers will love is not easy, but completely attainable. Authors must strike a balance between someone our readers would like to be similar to and yet who is flawed enough for us to love.
There is also that twist of uniqueness that readers enjoy.
Mix it all together in the right blend and you will create a character that readers will love. Not simple, but here are some tips that will help.
How To Create A Character Readers Will Love:
*Make them do admirable things. The whole James Scott Bell‘s save the dog, pet the cat strategy comes in to play here. Early in the story the hero/heroine should do things that make them admirable, but also remember to continue this going forward. If readers start to get annoyed at all of the things the hero/heroine does, readers will give up on them.
*Make them do and say things readers might want to do or say. I learned this strategy from Susan May Warren through My Book Therapy. Readers love it when characters say something they’ve always wanted to say, or do something they’ve always wanted to do. It is in effect living vicariously through the character.
*Create similarities between the reader and the character. Best friends usually have something in common, or they would have nothing to connect about. The same is true of reader and hero/heroine. A love of chocolate, pets, coffee, or other hobbies can draw a reader and character together. Likewise a dislike of similar things can draw a reader and character together.
*Create flaws in the character that readers will relate to. The flaws seen in the character should be flaws that readers recognize in themselves or those around them. The flaws should not outweigh the good qualities in the character. If the flaw focused on is particularly annoying, limit the number of flaws you give them. Using the flaws to create humor often makes them adorable.
*Create Uniqueness that stands out. Build some unique skills, experiences, or qualities in your character to create greater interest in your reader. This uniqueness may also add surprises and fun learning for readers.
Who is your favorite character in a book or movie?