By Julie Daines
As a follow up to my post about a main character I hated, (click here to read it) I thought I'd tackle the subject of how to make your main character likeable.
According to the awesomeness of Martine Leavitt, in children's and YA fiction it's important to have a main character that is likeable. The best way to do this is to have your character possess at least one of the following:
- Physical Attractiveness. I can't help but think of Jacob Black here. He is selfish and interfering, but oh so popular with the girl readers. Why does he have a whole team backing him up? Because he's hot.
- Altruism. Think Charlotte in Charlotte's Web. Samwise in Lord of the Rings--isn't he everyone's favorite?
- Plans, Purpose, and Dreams. No one has more dreams than Anne in Anne of Green Gables. I also think of Keturah in Keturah and Lord Death. All she wants is a little cottage with a kind husband and a peasant baby to hold.
- Courage and a Heightened Sense of Fairplay. Does this not say Harry Potter? How about Percy Jackson?
- Attitude. I'm thinking Scarlet O'Hara. In the book I think they called it gumption, and she has it in spades. She has to in order to counter all her negative traits.
- Cleverness. What's the name of that obnoxious, rude doctor guy we all love--House? Also Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird.
- Who Love and are Loved. I hate to use another Twilight example, yet I can't help but think of Bella. She really doesn't have a lot going for her except that she is loved by her dad, her mom, and of course Edward and Jacob and a few other boys at school. Because so many people love her, we figure there must be a reason, and so we identify with that and love her too. Or at the very least we want to see her happy.
- Are in Jeopardy. In the Hunger Games, main character Katniss lacks a lot in personality and kindness, but since she spends all of a thousand pages in ultimate peril, we root for her.
So there you have it. Good luck in being liked!