Hacks to Write Likeable Characters

Hacks to Write Likeable Characters

If you want your character to come across as likeable to your readers, you might be wondering what you can do to stack the deck in their favour. Not all characters need to be likeable, but if that’s what you’re going for, these hacks can help you out.

 

Save the Cat

It’s a screenwriting trick that says the hero should do something when we first meet them so that we like them and want them to win. Think ‘Aladdin gives his bread loaf to two orphans’.

 

 

The Underdog

People tend to root for the underdog. Consider putting your character in a situation where the odds are against them for whatever reason.

 

Create a Sympathetic Backstory

It doesn’t have to be a tragic backstory, but allow their past to inform your character's motivations and struggles. Readers are more likely to root for characters who have faced challenges and overcome adversity.

The Character Workbook goes deep into how to create a cohesive backstory - link in my bio!

 

 

Give Them Flaws

While it might seem counterintuitive, flaws make characters more relatable and interesting. Perfect characters can be hard to connect with.

 

Show Vulnerability

This could be through their fears, insecurities, or moments of self-doubt. When readers see a character's vulnerability, they are more likely to empathise and connect with them.

 

Sense of Humour

It doesn't have to be constant zingers, but readers like funny characters. Not every character will have sharp wit, so make sure to only make them funny if it fits. Their humour needs to be cohesive with their character voice. We go into this in the Character Workbook!

 

Show Growth

Allow your characters to learn from their mistakes, overcome challenges, and develop as individuals. Readers like watching a character grow.

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