1. Duchess
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    Duchess New Member

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    How to make my character likable?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Duchess, Feb 23, 2013.

    Hey guys! Okay,so I'm writing a novel which I want to enter into a contest next year. The prize is a publishing contract, so naturally my story needs to be well liked by its target audience, which is 11-16 year old girls.

    The plotline is that Diana tries to make an un-popular girl, Molly, popular, like her. Diana also falls in love with a boy,Devin, who despises her, but sees Molly as his little sister.Naturally, Diana and Devin fall in love over the course of the story.

    I need tips on how to make my protagonist, Diana, likable. She is not your typical shy and plain protagonist. No, Diana imis popular and dizy. She enjoys fashion and make-up and shopping. Her flaws are that she is spoiled and childish. Her redeeming traits are that she is really a kind person underneath it all.

    So, how can I make the ultimate anti-villian shine in this story?
     
  2. tinylittlepixie
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    tinylittlepixie Member

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    Actions speak louder than words. I think that it's probably worth building in situation throughout the story that gradually "soften" the reader's perspective of her
     
  3. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    Re: Chapter / SS

    My first impression of this was, "what's not to like about her?" Then I remembered your target audience.

    Make her relatable to the common high school student: well-hidden insecurities, stressed with deadlines, unsure of who she can trust, etc. Show that underneath the surface she is just as human as anyone else.
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Your audience is 11-16 year old girls? And you want your MC to be liked? Just make your MC Justin Bieber! There - problem solved.

    :)
     
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  5. A.Tad.of.Conrad
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    A.Tad.of.Conrad Member

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    My suggestion would be to give your character an arc. Have her start off as an unlikable drama queen, but then because she wants to impress the boy she likes, she tries to save his little sister from bullying. And I heavily suggest that you spin your story in such a way that she learns that maturity and kindness are their own rewards and not a means for an end.
     
  6. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    Brilliant! Wish I could think of any 'western' examples of girls who might appeal to an 11-16 audience, but my knowledge appears to be lacking here. :redface:
     
  7. Jetshroom
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    Jetshroom Active Member

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    A couple of notes:

    A character who is relate-able is more likable. I would suggest that the more relate-able character in what you've outlined will be Molly. She's the outcast not the cheerleader.
    A proactive character is more likable than a reactive character. This is going to come to how you write the characters, but try to make sure that your characters are DOING things, not REACTING to things that happen to them.
    A character with flaws is a more likable character. They don't have to be enormous flaws, but they need to be there. The perfect popular girl who never does anything wrong who convinces the guy who hates her to love her isn't going to be a well liked character. The flaws being spoiled and childish will probably grate on readers. You'll need to have her grow out of those over the course of her story.

    Go watch Clueless. Make sure that you're not just writing that.
     
  8. GazingAbyss
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    GazingAbyss Member

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    Sympathy and relatability have already been mentioned, so I'll add making her real. Give her the little quirks and tics that make people individuals. Does she have a word or saying she overuses? An unusual hobby? A favourite game? It's filling in the little details that make characters seem like flesh and blood, and someone you'd want to hang out with.
     
  9. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    I'd suggest that instead of the typical character you created- we see her in every movie, maybe you should create a character these girls relate to. You can try to teach them something about life instead of just telling them a story about a spoiled brat. Most of these girls have insecurities, are afraid of not being like, are struggling to establish a sense of self, are trying to fall in love and live a fantasy, they struggle with parents, not having or having brothers, having depression or enjoying holidays.

    I am sure many will object to my suggestion but I believe story telling is not just about entertainment, it's about telling a story with a moral and that moral can make people think and maybe change to something better.
     
  10. Oswiecenie
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    Oswiecenie Active Member

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    Make Molly your MC and write a story about her struggling with being patronized by Diana and Devin.
     
  11. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    Duchess: I suggest you have Diane going through some sort of challenge and at the end of this challenge she gives up her childish spoiled behavior and allows her kidness to come out for all of the world to see.
     

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