A day in which you write something is a day well-spent

I’ve been working on an outline of a lecture I’ll be conducting at next year’s DFW Writers’ Conference in May. I’ll be focusing on character development, but I would like to stress some importance on a certain topic in the lecture.

Your main character is the center of your readers’ universe while they’re reading your book. So, with that said, he/she MUST be loved by them. The hugest error an author can make is creating a character that the readers don’t care about. The audience must identify with or like him/her.

Three things are needed to achieve this:

1. Longing: the main character must have a deeply felt desire that he/she is playing lip service to because of fear.

2. Need: The main character/hero starts the story with a piece missing; he/she isn’t complete.

3. Wound: The main character should have an unhealed source of continued pain; i.e. a loved one who died tragically, an old physical wound, et cetera.

Include these in your character’s traits, and I guarantee your audience’s satisfaction with him/her.


Comments on: "Character Empathy" (2)

  1. Really useful advice. Sharp and to the point and is already helping me figure something with a character I’ve been working on (and having trouble with). Thanks.

    • I’m so glad I could help! It’s important to make sure that the reader empathizes with your characters, or else they won’t care what happens to them (and trust me, you want them to!)

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