Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Harboiled Sympathy

How does a writer make a hard-edged character that doesn't put all the readers off?

I'm not going to make any claims that I've achieved this. I think I've done somethings that make Bo Fexler likable. Mainly humor.

I was advised early on in this writing biz that reader's like to be able to idenfity with characters and that helps build sympathy. Talk about bringing the writing process to a screeching, chaotic halt for a spell with THAT one!

I'm one of those solitairy creatures. My favorite things to do include reading, writing, surfing the internet, and hubby things with hubby. ;-) I don't really know what readers would identify with. The only thing I came up with for sure is grabbing a carton of ice cream after a rough day.

But in the end, Bo Fexler is still a hard-edged, foul-mouthed, sharp tongued character. Although... generally, the harder the shell on a person, the more sensitive they are. Get past Bo's sharp lines, and you'll find that she's self-conscious about her speech and unsure how to get along with people.

Maybe that'll be enough for readers to sympathize with.

What ways do you find yourself sympathizing or identifying with characters?

  • Novel Progress: 71k, waiting for line-editing (that I really don't feel like doing!)
  • What I should be doing: Grad school homework or praying to the computer gods
  • Current Song: Paralyzer by Finger Eleven


Travis Erwin said...

I tend to rely on humor to make characters more likable than they would be otherwise.

Clair Dickson said...

Humor seems to work. Though, I always wonder about dark humor. *I* love dark humor, but it's not every one's side of the Force.

pattinase (abbott) said...

If I understood this, I might have an agent.

sandra seamans said...

Maybe it's just the common everyday things that your characters might do that make them easy to relate to. Like stepping in dog shit and scrubbing your foot through the grass instead of shooting the dog. Or cooking. Or having a relationship. I think we relate to characters because they do the same mundane things that everybody does, except they shoot people as a sideline :-))

Clair Dickson said...

Patti-- you'll get there. If Bo Fexler can get published all over the internet, than so can you.

Sandra-- I never really thought of it as just everyday things. That requires some mulling over.