Tuesday, June 12, 2012


The issue of likeability has some up several times in my critique groups in the last month or or so. One of my critique partners has said repeatedly that he doesn't like one of my novel pov characters. Since this is the antagonist (unbeknownst to him) I'm totally fine with this. :) Note, too, this is a multiple pov book. Thus, it is not necessary to like all pov characters.

Another critique partner doesn't like the love interest for my protagonist. She says he's too mean/jerky. Although he isn't a pov character,this is more worrisome because I want him to stick around for multiple books. I went back to revise and de-jerkify him. I found I didn't change that much. I deliberately made the protagonist and her love interest have a lot of misunderstandings and arguments because they want different things at this point in the book. And it opened the door for another man, aka a love triangle, which I also wanted. Thus, it's definitely okay to have less likable non-pov characters.

I, myself, am having trouble liking the protagonist of one of my critique partners' books. This is a one pov book and it's in first person. Thus, a not-likeable main character seems to be more problematic here, IMHO. Obviously, a flawed character works great for the internal character arc of the book--which we want. The danger is: the reader might stop reading the book before the arc is complete. I'm still pondering this one.

What do you think? Should all characters be likeable? Should all protagonists at least be likeable?

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