How to Write Sympathetic Central Characters

[Archived from A Writer’s Diary]

Is it possible to create a character that the reader has no choice but to like?

Can you force an innocent reader to say, ‘Hey, I found your narrator really relatable?’

A few years ago, I spoke to students on Birkbeck’s Creative about exactly this.

But then I had second thoughts.

Usually, I share things like this immediately afterwards – by posting it on my blog.

This time, however, I was reluctant. Was I giving too much away? Was what I’d said toxic material, too dangerous to handle?

Perhaps so, but I’ve since shared what I said with other writers, and they’ve all found it useful. Some have found it a bit of a revelation.

You mean you can analyse this stuff?

And this is why – toxic or not – I’ve decided to make it available now.

It’s too long to share in an email, so I’ve put it up (along with the other lectures) on this blog.

If you’ve ever wanted to know, here is what it takes to make Sympathetic Central Characters. (Just don’t tell anyone else.)

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