“You were my very own sympathetic character / I was afraid of verbal daggers” – Alanis Morissette, “Sympathetic Character”
Sandra is “piss-pathetic.” (But only after she joins forces with Damien – the villain.)
Tsunami and Danae are “douchebags.”
Tsunami is “annoying.”
Those are samplings of criticism I got on my writing – more specifically, on my characters. Granted, being annoying is part of Tsunami’s character, especially in earlier parts of the series. Danae is Tsunami’s daughter, so I suppose she would inherit some of those same “douchebag” tendencies. I can understand why readers would think this. (I have had a love-hate relationship with Tsunami myself.)
Tsunami is one of the main characters in the XIII series. (Danae and Sandra are both minor characters, but they still play important roles in the action of the story.) I have to make them all more sympathetic and less irritating. I want the reader to be able to relate to them and feel sorry for them (when appropriate). I don’t want readers throwing down my book because they’re annoyed by a character (or three).
1. I’ve been looking up some helpful articles on how to create more sympathetic characters – tools that will make their personalities less abrasive to the reader.
Deanna Carlyle – Springboard for Creating Sympathetic Characters
Carrie Lewis – Fix Unsympathetic Characters
J. Mark Bertrand – One Way to Make Characters Sympathetic
2. I know that right now I’m in the middle of writing XIII, so I won’t be able to really see how “annoying” the characters are until I take a break from it and read it to myself again.
3. It’s difficult to see flaws in your own work, even after waiting for a while after you’ve written it to read it over, so I’ll have to have another few people read it.
4. I’ll also try giving the characters more sympathetic traits that will make a reader care about them enough to not be frustrated while reading.
Does anyone else have this problem? Are there any solutions that have worked for you? Thanks so much for reading! 🙂