Make your readers care about your characters
On June 4, 2013 | 2 Comments | News & Events, Writing tips | Tags: ,

I recently finished reading a novel that wasn’t terrible, but I never really got into it because I just didn’t care about any of the characters. Not one.

If you want readers to become invested in your writing, they must become invested in your characters. I’m not suggesting that all your characters need to be charming, or even particularly nice, and I’m certainly not suggesting that you can’t have villains. But there has to be something in at least one of your characters that your fans want to root for. Otherwise, what’s the point? This is just my opinion as a reader, of course. But I’m also a best-selling author, and the countless e-mails I’ve received from loyal fans telling me how much they care about the protagonist of my novels proves I’m on to something. And believe me, my heroine is quite flawed.

Waverly Bryson is far from perfect, which is one of the reasons my fans like her

In the book I just finished reading, every character – save for a fringe one who was only 10 years old – was extremely unlikable. The two main characters in particular were dreadful. From the first page of the book, I didn’t like them. I kept reading, thinking maybe one of them would demonstrate a side of her personality that would change my mind, prove me wrong, or perhaps offer a clue from their past to explain their present behavior. But that never happened. Instead, they kept annoying me, and I didn’t like them the entire way through the novel. Then at the end, when they were both murdered, I just didn’t care.

Characters flaws make for great characters. However, great characters also use their flaws to draw in readers.

Btw click here to send Waverly Bryson a friend request on Facebook. I’m pretty confident she will accept! 🙂


This blog post originally appeared on Reprinted with permission. © 2013 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.


Comments 2
Tyra Posted June 22, 2013 at11:52 am   Reply

Hello Maria,

I’ve enjoyed surfing your website. I can relate to this article about characters in novels that you don’t care about. Sadly, I’m having the same reaction to the best-seller, Wolf Hall. The author uses third-person omniscient, so I never really get to know anyone intimately. Thomas Cromwell is supposed to be a despicable character, but I just don’t see that yet. I’m not going to give up. Anyway, kudos on your website and tips.

Howard Posted August 5, 2013 at8:15 pm   Reply

Great tip along with the other helpful tips you provide.
Good luck on your next book. Howard

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