Write Tip Wednesday: Make Characters Relatable

August 24, 2011

I’ve heard that the best reading experiences come when readers see themselves as the main characters. With so many characters (especially in romances) being written as idealized humans (attractive, wealthy, professionally successful, etc.), how does a reader relate? One way to build connection with readers (and soften some of the idealized characteristics) is to give your main characters relatable flaws. Does your heroine bite her nails? Does she lack organization, shoving random piles of junk into already overcrowded closets? Is she always late? Make your own list, and use a flaw or two to infuse a little realism and likeability into Miss Perfect (or Mr. Perfect). –Elley


4 Responses to “Write Tip Wednesday: Make Characters Relatable”

  1. LD Says:

    My most likeable flaws are tortured souls for my heroes. And for the female protagonist – scattered wits sounds really relatable right now.

    • I have a heroine who is scattered, but I had trouble with injecting just enough scatter to make her still likeable. Do you ever worry about that? The flaws we give to our characters can work against us if we go too far. You know?

      I like heroines who have body image issues, because I do. 🙂 I like heroes who are workaholics for a purpose other than making money. Still, both those things can get annoying if the balance is off.


  2. thewritecafe Says:

    Great suggestion. I know that our characters should be relatable but often find it difficult to do. I love your suggestion of listing off some flaws. Thank you 🙂

    • Thanks! I’d love to create a “master list” so feel free to post the flaws that come to mind. Here’s some more:

      realist (almost to the extreme)
      caffeine addict
      knuckle cracker
      insomniac (overactive brain/worries)
      social media addict 🙂

      I hope others will jump in and add some more.


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