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Recipe for likable characters

Just shy of 10,000 words and taking a little break to recharge the muse. I dug out some of my writing books for just this purpose and have been going through one of Orson Scott Card's, Characters and Viewpoint. I think most of what he writes about are things good writers and readers know instinctively, but when you're in the middle of a NaNo slog it doesn't hurt to have things laid out in black and white.

One of my concerns with this story is that my heroine is, well, unlikable. So far she's been put in a situation where the reader is prone to feeling sympathetic, but I also want to give her some character flaws to overcome (or not) and to keep her from becoming an inadvertant Mary Sue. So this is kind of a quick-link reference for myself... if anyone else wants to put it to use, go ahead. Like I said, this isn't anything earth shattering, mostly just things to keep in mind when crafting characters.

Common factors when writing likable characters:
- Familiarity: At least superficially like the target audience
- Altruistic: choosing to put others' good ahead of her own, rescuing others in need, willing to sacrifice herself if no other options remain
- Proactive: not always reacting to things other people do
- Courageous: willing to take risks
- Fair: plays by the rules
- Attitude: not a whiner
- Dependable: stands by her word, keeps promises
- Clever: Rather that being merely 'intelligent'
- Endearing imperfections: See: Han Solo
  • Current Mood: calm calm
Love the list...though I'm more prone to write a lead who's like me. :P