fb

Fantasy Writers

Trying to make my MC more likeable

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #129005
    Erynne
    @erynne

    Hey everyone!

    So in my fantasy WIP one of my MCs, Princess Eliana (my profile picture) suffers a lot. She gets incredibly sick and almost dies.

    I want my readers to feel truly sorry for her, but I don’t know how to make her more likeable and relatable.

    Any tips or ideas?  If you have any questions just let me know!

    #129027
    Arindown (Gracie)
    @arindown

    @erynne

    I love this. I feel like it’s something we all struggle with (my MC is a super moody introvert, so…😬😆).

    My advice would be to pick something that Eliana struggles with…maybe missing out on life while she’s sick, or feeling like “nobody understands,” or being frustrated with God for allowing it. We can all relate to inward struggles like that when we’re going through hard times.

    Let the sickness bring out both her good and bad points. Maybe she’s an optimist, and so she tries really hard to be positive about the whole thing, but eventually she just can’t stand being bed-ridden anymore, and lashes out at everyone. Or (if I’ve got the story right) she could be a really protective friend, and feel really worried and responsible for her friends who are trying to save her.

    I think the key to a relatable character is making them have good qualities (courage, optimism, gentleness, a good sense of humour, etc.) that we all like in other people, and then contrasting that with a struggle that we can relate to.

    I would also encourage you to watch some of Abbie Emmons. She’s on YouTube, and I would totally recommend her for 13+ or if your parents don’t mind a few cringy things here or there.😂 Her writing content is amazing though, and she’s helped me a lot with making good characters.

    Hope that’s helpful!

    Not all who wander are lost.

    #129032
    Erynne
    @erynne

    @arindown

    That helps a ton! Thank you so much!!

    Or (if I’ve got the story right) she could be a really protective friend, and feel really worried and responsible for her friends who are trying to save her.

    You got the story spot on. She tries to convince her friends not to leave, but she knows that’s the only way to save her and that her friends weren’t going to change their minds. I’m honestly glad I’ve described my story well enough that you were able to pick that up with out me saying it 😀

    I would also encourage you to watch some of Abbie Emmons.

    I watch her all the time! At least I used to, I need to go look at her channel again. Yes, I totally agree she can be cringy at times (I really wish she would watch her language) but she has really good advice sometimes!

    Thanks again for the ideas! I will definitely be using those!

    #129247
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @erynne

    Heya Erynne!

    That’s totally a relatable struggle! For a really long time, I was worried that people wouldn’t like my MC. She’s snarky, does stupid things, jumps to conclusions, shuts people out, and will sometimes be downright mean. However, everyone still liked her. I also have another character that was supposed to be an unlikeable antagonist, but everyone picked him out as their favorite character.

    Here’s some stuff I’ve discovered that play important factors:

    1. Likeability. Basically, everything Arindown said. She was spot on there, so I don’t need to add much, except that a really good technique is to show other characters liking them. People will naturally follow the general opinion of someone. For example, I have a pretty unlikeable character that I’m trying to redeem, but my MC really, really hates him. So I added another POV character who’s less biased and has a lot more compassion, so you get both sides of the story.

    2. Proactivity. A character that pushes the plot forward will always be more interesting and memorable. This comes into character agency, but this can fluctuate throughout the book. If a character is really giving their all to achieve a goal, we’ll want them to succeed, even if they make some questionable choices along the way.

    3. Competence. Characters that know exactly what they’re doing and are skilled in a field will be easier to like or at least respect. Don’t overdo this, though. Infallible characters are just boring. But sometimes it helps to give an unlikeable character just one scene to shine, and that’ll make them more interesting and memorable.

    Now, the interesting part. If you have only two of these, your character may still be likable. A character that is constantly mean and moody, but who is proactive and competent can still be likable, perhaps even more than a character who has all three. And if you have a character who can’t push the plot forward too much for some reason, if they’re likeable and competent, they won’t feel flat or boring.

    4. Humor. People love characters that make them laugh, so any funny character will automatically get likeability points. But, misplaced humor can be annoying, so use with caution. Also, don’t make your villain too funny, or people will start liking him. He can do whatever horrible things needed, but if he’s funny, people won’t hate him. Now, if your goal is to create a more light-hearted book, you can mess with this a bit.

    5. Save the cat. This is such a big thing that there’s a book named after it. (One of my favorite writing books, btw.) What it comes down to is that you should have your character do some nice action within the first few pages. It doesn’t have to be big, selfless, or earth-shattering, just some small, nice thing. Like saving a cat out of a tree, or helping someone pick up their groceries after they dropped them. You can also do the opposite, for villains.

    The likeability/proactivity/ competence thing I got from Brandon Sanderson’s class. It’s up for free on YouTube and it covers a lot of stuff. It gave me soo many ‘aha’ moments, and it doesn’t repeat all the common writing advice. It’s definitely worth checking out! It is 8+ hours long in total, so I listened to it podcast style.

    Hope this helped!

     

     

    "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

    #129282
    Erynne
    @erynne

    @rose-colored-fancy

    Hi Rose!

    Thanks for all the suggestions! That actually helped a lot 🙂

    I will definitely be using a lot of these for Eliana, and I my villain definitely needs some work so that helps a lot!

    I’ll have to look into Brandon Sanders. 8+ hours long though… Podcast style is definitely needed 😂

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Story Embers

Enroll in Our Seven-Day Mindset Challenge Course

Enter your email to begin taking the course. We'll send you a link to begin the mindset course along with emails to help you grow in your writing craft!

You've joined the course! Check your email to watch the first video.

Plotting Is Hard

That’s why we created a worksheet that will help you make sure your story hits all the right plot beats.

 

Sign up below to learn how to ace story structure.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the plot sheet in one moment...

Stop Using Meaningless Character Questionnaires

Knowing your character's favorite ice cream flavor won't help you write engaging protagonists.

 

Our questionnaire is different. Use it to discover your character's core fears, longings, hopes, and needs.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the character questionnaire in one moment...

Enjoying This Article? Get the Full Series!

 You can download the entire Tricky Subjects for Christian Storytellers series in e-book form for free!

 Learn how to wisely handle subjects like violence, language, and sex as a writer.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Worldbuild Smarter, Not Harder

 Some worldbuilding questionnaires force you to answer as many questions as possible about your world.

 

Ours doesn’t. Answer targeted questions that reveal what’s actually important about your world.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the worldbuilding questionnaire in one moment...

Take Your Style to the Next Level

Take Your Style to the Next Level

The written word matters to God.

 

Does it matter to you?

 

Learn how to develop an eloquent, practical, and personal style by downloading our free e-book.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Every Year, Thousands of Writers Give Up

Every Year, Thousands of Writers Give Up

 Don’t be the next.

 

We understand how exhausting writing can be, so download our free e-book and find inspiration to press on!

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Don't Be That Kind of Christian Writer

Want to impact the world for Christ with your writing—without being preachy or cliched?

 

Learn how to avoid common pitfalls and craft powerful themes by downloading our free worksheet!

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the theme worksheet in one moment...

So You Have Clichés in Your Novel...

Thankfully, we’re here to help!

 

Enter your email below, and we’ll send you a simple process for smashing clichés.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the cliche worksheet in one moment...

Sign Up for Updates

Enter your email to receive updates on the Engaging Plots Summit, along with emails to help you grow in your writing craft!

You have successfully subscribed for updates!

Does Christian Fiction Need to Be Clean?

Our Tricky Subjects for Christian Storytellers e-book examines how to depict sensitive topics like violence, language, and sex with realism and wisdom. Sign up to download it for free!

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Poetry Isn't Just for Poets

Poetry Isn't Just for Poets

It can also help novelists write better stories!

Get our Harnessing the Power of Poetry e-book to learn how techniques used by skilled poets can enrich your storytelling.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Enjoying This Article? Get the Full Series!

Enjoying This Article? Get the Full Series!

You can download the entire Harnessing the Power of Poetry series in e-book form for free!

Learn what surprising insights and techniques novelists can glean from poets.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Uncover the Secret to Relatable Characters

Uncover the Secret to Relatable Characters

Learning how to help readers connect with your story's characters doesn't need to be a mystery.

Get our Evoking Reader Empathy e-book to discover how successful authors build empathy.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Stop Using Meaningless Character Questionnaires

Stop Using Meaningless Character Questionnaires

Knowing your character's favorite ice cream flavor won't help you write engaging protagonists.

 

Our questionnaire is different. Use it to discover your character's core fears, longings, hopes, and needs.

 

 

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the character questionnaire in one moment...

Plotting Is Hard

Plotting Is Hard

That’s why we created a worksheet that will help you make sure your story hits all the right plot beats.

 

Sign up below to learn how to ace story structure.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the plot sheet in one moment...

Learn What the Bible Says about Engaging Plots

Learn What the Bible Says about Engaging Plots

Enter your email to get your guide, along with other resources to help you grow in your writing craft!

You have successfully subscribed for updates!

Pin It on Pinterest