Likability

Analysis

Seven More Characters With Too Much Candy

Captain Jack with a big gun.

Candy and spinach are important concepts because they describe two critical elements of character likability. Candy is anything that glorifies a character. This includes cool powers, defeating a major bad guy, being right in an argument, and anything else that makes them look cool to the … read more »

Q&A

How Do You Handle Protagonists Who Kill?

questions and answer talk bubbles

I don’t think it’s controversial to say that killing is abhorrent. But in my novelette series, particularly the latest story, there is a great deal of cultists to be killed. I don’t particularly want to dive into the protagonist’s slow mental breakdown at the horror … read more »

Storytelling

Accounting for Character Identification

Harry Potter wearing the sorting hat

Most principles of character likability work for a broad audience. But when a reader identifies with a character in your story, it can alter likability in ways that are difficult to predict. What’s more, every reader could identify with a different character, creating highly varied … read more »

Storytelling

Understanding Character Karma

Lady Justice sits with her sword, holding up her scales

Character karma is a useful concept that helps us understand how to craft stories that are engaging and satisfying. While I’ve mentioned the concept in many other places, it’s overdue for a full article on the ways it affects our stories. First, what is character … read more »

Writing

Giving Your Hero Sympathetic Problems

Making your protagonist a relatable underdog is a great way to encourage your audience to bond with them. Unfortunately, it’s easy for this effort to go wrong. Instead of feeling sympathy for your hero, the audience might think your character is whiny and unpleasant. The narration … read more »