There is no doubt about it. A great story involves lovable characters. There is nothing better than gluing readers to a character’s side and letting them feel all the highs and lows of their journey throughout the novel. What makes a lovable character? What qualities should authors include? How do you ensure tons of people from all walks of life can relate in the way one or more of your characters live and breathe in the pages of your story? Today, we’re going to tackle that topic as you build your next exciting bestseller.
Being able to relate to someone is the beginning of forming a connection. It is the kindling that draws two strangers together to where they warm to each other. Think about it, when you were a kid growing up, you made fast friends with other kids who had similar likes as your own. Those were exciting times! Meeting another person who you could relate to and enjoy the same activity made you enjoy the experience even more. Being able to relate to characters in a story is no different.
Everyone likes someone with quick wit. Part of enjoying life is the ability to have light-hearted fun and laugh. What a stress relief and a quick way to win a friend. After all, laughter is the best medicine. When an author can make you laugh through a particular character or how they respond in certain situations, it has the same effect as that crazy friend you have in your life. You never know what they will do or say. Have you ever laughed so hard you cried while reading a book? I have and I wish it happened more often.
Is your character daring? Are they a take-charge individual who drives ahead no matter what gets in the way? This can create a definite buzz in your character and make them more appealing to your audience. Audiences fell in love with Jack Bauer in 24 for this very reason. No matter how dire the situation, he charged ahead looking for the answer, a bad guy, a bomb, or whatever the plot held that week.
When bad things happen to good people it brings us to our own disappointments in life. We can’t help but feel the weight of their circumstances. A tragedy can bring out the best aspects of a character and as they drive forward in their quest, we rally behind them. It creates hope in our hearts. We hope they can find the answer in time. We hope they can overcome the odds. We hope they will find become the victor in the struggle. It still drives to something deeper when we see tragedy. We hope that we ourselves can continue on in our own personal struggles and dilemmas. When we see bad things happen to people in books, it brings us back to ourselves and fills us with hope that we can press on too.
Last, but not least in our list (at least for today), is the superhero. Now, if you look up the definition, it will tell you about comics and magical powers, which is true. There are plenty of Marvel movies out there making a ton of money off superheros. In fact, Avengers Endgame will be in theaters this weekend and I’m pumped about it. Yet, superheros can be real people too. Think of war veterans, medal of honor recipients, someone who makes a deep personal sacrifice for another, a firefighter who risks their life to rescue another person in a burning building. Yes, there are plenty of real superheros as well. Reading of their courage and actions helps us think kindly upon one another. It literally brings out the best thoughts about each other. This type of trait easily creates lovable characters in any story.
I could add more to this list and I might at a later time. Keep these thoughts in mind when trying to conjure lovable characters your audience will like. It just might be easier than you think.