April 26, 2011

Creating Sympathetic Characters

Even though your characters seems to do everything right, you hate them. Or your beta readers hate them. What went wrong?

Two things: your character must be interesting and your character needs to be sympathetic. Whether he's a good guy or a bad guy, he should have those two qualities.

So how do you make a character more sympathetic?

Mary Lynn Mercer at Why Stories Work posted a thorough answer in The True Nature of Sympathetic Characters. She also covers a few things to avoid like a character that whines.

Darci Pattison posted a couple of really great ones: 9 Traits of Sympathetic Characters and then you can use those traits to Make Your Character More Sympathetic.

Every hero needs his fatal flaw. Apparently, there are nine types. I didn't know this, but it's pretty cool. Laurie Campbell's Creating Your Hero's Fatal Flaw

And finally, J. Timothy King gives 3 Steps to Sympathy that makes inappropriate behavior okay.

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