>What Makes Us Care About a Character?

>When you read a novel or short story, what about the character makes you care what happens to her? While working on revising my own novel, I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the last few days. Here are just three things I’ve thought of that make a character appealing.

Qualities we aspire to. Great characters who draw us in (time after time in some cases) usually have qualities we would like to have ourselves. For example, most of us would want to show the kind of courage many characters in books and movies display.

Complicated inner lives. Characters who come packaged with inner conflict make us sympathize. Who of us hasn’t had to make difficult choices? We can relate on some level, even when their situation is much different from our own.

Hope of something better. Many memorable characters give us hope that dreams do come true, that insurmountable problems can be overcome, and that we can reach our potential.

Many other things can help us bond with a character. Think about characters that you love. What is it about them that you can’t resist?


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