I have been coming across the phrase "sympathetic character" lately. One such place is the book "Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. The author discusses five basic plot elements and lists this as number one. It is followed by conflict, complications, climax and resolution. But without the sympathetic character nothing else that follows is going to matter as much. If we don't care about the character will we care about the story?
Cheryl Klein, senior editor at Arthur L. Levine Books worked on the U.S. editions of Harry Potter. She posted on her blog a very informative speech titled "A Few Things Writers Can Learn from Harry Potter". One of the top things on her list is how readers sympathize with Harry. (read the speech, it's a good one)
That brings us to the moment it finally set in. I have been telling myself all along to make my characters likable and that is what it takes to make readers care about my story. But it is not just about being likable, it is about being drawn to a character and sympathizing is the way to do that.
I saw the new movie trailer for Real Steel. The first trailer didn't do much for me, it was mostly fighting robots and cool special effects. Of course I was planning on seeing it anyway because Hugh Jackman