1. Hm…yeah. Likability is often less about the flaw or idea of the character, and more about how those things are expressed through writing. Sometimes it’s a matter of the reader too, though. Not every book or character is right for every reader, so sometimes no matter how well an author expresses something, a character will still be unlikable to some. Unfortunately a lot of people are not really willing to truly understand others, whether they’re book characters or individuals they know in real life. So someone can complain about a char’s behavior when in reality the reader isn’t accurately interpreting the behaviors in the first place. But hopefully the reader grows past that over time.

    I’ve found that depicting a realistic struggle and showing rather than telling helps a lot with likability. When someone has a flaw, it will affect their life in ways they don’t even realize. Showing that in a realistic manner can be fascinating and can even built sympathy in the reader, especially if the struggle centers around the char understanding his flaws and trying to overcome them. Also, if a char basically says ‘woe is me!’ every two seconds, that’s basically ‘telling’ and will often be very grating for the audience. But if the author instead concentrates on making the events unfold in an artful way and then has the char react with grief and anger that feels more realistic to the situation, that’s more akin to ‘showing’ the reader and is more likely to be received better.

What do you think?