How to make a likeable character

What makes a good protagonist

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A good and likeable protagonist is just as needed as a hateable antagonist. In fact, it is even more important. The protagonist is the one the readers will be following around and analyzing the most. According to Story Flint, there are 12 ways to make a character likable; however, this article will only go over a few of them.

This is obvious, so I won’t get too much into it, but the first way is to introduce the main character early on. If the reader doesn’t know who the main character is right away, they might get confused or be disappointed. It’s best to tell or show them the protagonist as soon as possible.

There is no such thing as a perfect person or being in this world. Everything in some way is flawed in this world, making it even more beautiful. If the main character is completely perfect then the readers will hate them since it would remind them of their own flaws.

Main character of my 1st book (young)

A good protagonist needs a good backstory. This backstory has to be interesting and unique but also help the readers connect with them. If it’s too cliché of a backstory then people might lose interest. But if it’s too different then they won’t be able to connect to it as much.

Everyone has their own goals they want to achieve. The protagonist has to have somewhat relatable goals to be liked, though in some cases it’s very unlikely for them to have such goals. If they are a normal human, then their goals would naturally be something to relate to. However, if the protagonist isn’t human, then that might be hard to do. Anyway, the reader will like it if they can relate to the protagonist in some way.

Just like how there is no such thing as a perfect being in this world there is no such thing as someone who doesn’t have some kind of weakness or vulnerability. It doesn’t exactly have to be a weakness. It could be that they are scared of or sad about a certain thing. Someone who can’t be fazed by anything can be boring. However, if it becomes too much of an issue the readers won’t like it very much.

Main character of my 1st book (older)

All people will make mistakes throughout their life, so in order to make the character likeable, they must also make mistakes. Main characters and even other characters must show growth throughout the story, to do that, they need to make mistakes. No one can grow if they don’t make a few mistakes along the way. It’s common sense.

The main character has to stand out amongst the rest in some way otherwise the readers won’t understand why they are the protagonist. They can’t be too different though because that would make them seem like they are out of place and don’t belong. It would bring their likability down quite a lot.

Last but not least, the protagonist has to act realistically when faced with certain situations. If they overreact or make things seem worse than they are, they become annoying. No one likes it when people exaggerate things. It’s irritating and can make the readers mad and even hate the main character. That is good only for a character that should be hated.

Putting all of this together, it’s wise to assume that a character that is somewhat relatable to and yet unique is the way to go. However, don’t make them too relatable, or they might become cliché. No one likes a cliche character, especially if it’s the main character.