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.