Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I have a new critique partner and he really doesn't like one of my characters. Basically, he thinks the character is stupid and boring--I'm paraphrasing. This partner has been complaining a lot. What my new critique partner doesn't know (he came in in the middle of the novel) is this character is the antagonist. Based on this feedback, I've (hopefully!) rewritten the character to be not-boring and to be less stupid. But, his stupidity is intentional; it's part of the character's fatal flaw. Ultimately, he is going to fail, be foiled by the protagonist.

This experience has made me wrestle with the whole issue of likeability. Do readers need to like all the characters? I say: no. But they have to be somehow intrigued enough to see what will happen, right?

What do you think?


  1. I think as long as what you are doing is intentional and compelling you are fine. One of my crit partners insists that my main protag is an unlikable doormat, but other people get where I am going with her. Maybe see what other people think? Get a few unofficial crit buddies and let them read it without telling them your concerns first. See if they flag on the same details.

  2. Thanks, S.N. Your advice is helpful!
    Happy Writing!