7 Reasons Readers Don't Care About Your Novel's Characters

21 thoughts on “7 Reasons Readers Don't Care About Your Novel's Characters

  1. Jamie and Cersei Lannister certainly can't be described as likable. I am sure as hell invested in what happens to them though.

  2. Hello and thank you so much for sharing. If you have a moment I would absolutely love your advice. I do a kind of home school summer school for my kids ( they go to public school) and one of their assignments is to write a story and I have already given them a few random things to go off of but my question is thing. My 14 year old loves to write and how can I beat direct them at this age? What should their focus be? Any advice is welcome and desperately needed. Thank you. I will have them watch your novel boot camp 2017 videos even though I’m not sure they are going to write novels this summer. Lol 12 & 14 year olds. Thanks you again for your content.

  3. It's not your fault, but writing a good book is starting to seem difficult. There's too much to think about.

  4. "One time I had a writer who thought they were conveying guilt in the character, but really their character was coming across as aloof and uncaring."

    Was that book called The Stranger?

    Seriously though, I think Ellen should make an effort to separate "being likable" from "being enjoyable to read about," because I prefer reading about people I do not like, and I find that is very common. How many Game of Thrones characters are compelling but extremely unlikable, and the 'motivations' for their unlikable actions are either never given, or are so subtle you have to figure them out yourself? That last part, to have a character that is unlikable, but compelling, so much so that the reader comes up with justifications for them, is pure magic.

  5. How can I get help editing my novels professionally if I don't have a lot of money to spend? I have good works, they just need help.

  6. Hi Ellen,
    Love all your videos! They are so informative!

    Quick question: When writing a novel in third person, is it too jarring to change psychic perspective with first person introspection?

    Example: I am to going to get out of here, he thought. vs. He was determined to get out of there.

    Would you recommend sticking strictly to third person introspection in a third person perspective novel and first person introspection in a first person perspective novel? Or is ok, to pepper in first person introspection as thoughts, in a third person perspective novel?


  7. I love that there is 0% fat in these videos. I feel like there wasn't a second I wasn't learning something. Thankyou.

  8. Did anyone else keep a checklist for how many boxes your characters checked off while listening to this?

  9. Oh come on, the more dastardly your characters are, the more entranced your reader will be. Make them all bad, and even make the protagonist have one or two bad qualities. It's the spice of the story line. Another great way to check your own writing, is to have you or someone else read your material out loud. The spoken word brings to light a lot of flaws and assets that you didn't see by just re-reading your own material over and over. Thank you for your videos. You are a wonder.

  10. Trying to make the character likeable by having the character do too many good deeds, may backfire by making the character seam unrealistic.

    2:25 1. Not conveying the character's personality or conveying an unintended personality.
    3:59 2. Telling instead of showing the character's personality.
    5:35 3. Showing the character's negative traits but not explaining why the character has those traits.
    6:40 4. Not indicating what the character wants or longs for.
    7:19 5. Not introducing an obstacle to what the character wants.
    8:05 6. The character is a stereotype or a trope.
    8:50 7. Not putting the reader in the character's shoes by giving information from the character senses.

  11. This makes me think of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind and Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, both characters that I care about who have strong personalities and are also not really nice or good characters.

  12. Not a criticism, loved the video, but when you were talking about negative traits i love how the first thing that comes to mind is, “so say your character uses women…”

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