How to Create a MORE Likeable Character


How to Create a MORE Likeable Character


Who wants to create a MORE likeable character? A likeable character your reader cares deeply about?

A likeable character who’ll keep your reader turning pages to find out what happens to him.

Q: Does your main character come across as cocky, aloof, or just plain boring?

A:  Don’t worry. You can inject a HUGE amount of like-ability into your character,  connecting your character with your reader  … I did.

How did I make a MORE Likeable Character?

For my mid-grade novel, STOP the Bully I amped the likeability of my main character Brian Bennett to the MAX in the very first scene. How? New kid Brian Bennett saved Amelia from the bully sitting right behind her. Brian dived for Amelia as her chair tilted backwards, triggering a chain of humorous events.

Kids love a hero AND they love humor!


How to Create a MORE Likeable Character

Get your character to SAVE the cat …  SAVE their sister … SAVE someone in the first scene of your book. Every reader LOVES a hero character.

Make the reader chuckle with your character on the very first page, scene or chapter. Humor strengthens your storyline, making your character irresistible.

What are my credentials?

My name is Karen Tyrrell. I present writing talks  for Queensland Writers Centre,  Write & Publish a Children’s Novel Masterclass and Book Marketing Masterclass PLUS at conferences, festivals, libraries and schools.  I’ve published four books, winning three grants, two awards and a mentorship with the Society of Editors.

How did I transform Brian Bennett into the most LOVE-able character he could be?

How to Create a MORE Likeable Character

1.Identify with the Reader: Introduce him on page one via his thoughts, dialogue and actions so the reader can relate to him instantly. The reader must know the hero’s goals and motivations straight away.

2. Empathize: Allow the reader to empathize and sympathize with the character, really care about him. He could be an underdog with some endearing flaws or a reluctant hero.

3. Humor: Let the main character deliver humour on the very first page, to win the reader over. A character that makes us grin is a character we’ll LOVE to the end.

4. Action: Heroes are characterized by action. The hero actually does things. He or she doesn’t sit around watching things happen, or wait for situations to resolve themselves

5. Integrity: A likeable character represents the values of the community. They defy evil and save the world. They stick up for geeks, and believe in fair play. They hate bullies.

6. Selflessness: We love characters who go out of their way to protect others: a friend, a family member, and the WORLD.

7. Loved by Others: Give your hero a sidekick and a team. If someone is loved by someone else, it proves the character as someone worthy of love, worthy of reading their story.

8. Compassion: Your main character must show an inspiring kindness and desire to uplift and help others. That compassion is the driving force for the story arc.

9. Bravery: Even when scared and nervous, the hero puts his life on the line again and again. He puts others before himself.

10. Determination: Your main character must never give up, no matter how many brick walls challenges he encounters. Remember he’s the hero even if he fails; he picks himself up and tries again.


How to Create a MORE Likeable Character


Brian Bennett was  a flawed character (revealed later in a “Twist”) so I had to work EXTRA hard to entice the reader like him …I’m proud to say, Brian Bennett from STOP the Bully now ticks all those likeable character boxes, scoring 10 out of 10.


A NEW review for STOP the Bully has arrived from teacher, Dr Cherrye S. Vasquez, Ph.D.

 “STOP the Bully” takes the reader full circle concerning the complexities of bullying behaviours.  … Gives students and teachers a vision of hope and progress to end bullying in our schools nationwide.”

Read the FULL Review of STOP the Bully on Amazon HERE

perf5.000x8.000.inddRead the first 10 pages STOP the Bully by clicking onto the cover at Amazon HERE

I’m glad I made those positive changes, so important in fiction.

Check your Main Character traits against my Likeable Character checklist above…

How did your character score?

How are you going to create a more likeable character?

Which tips resonated with you?

Please leave your comment below: Like, Tweet and Google Plus.

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10 comments to How to Create a MORE Likeable Character

  • steve

    Very good, I think relatability might be another trait, we would all like to relate to a hero, see ourselves as one, even though in many situations, it probably wouldn’t be true.

  • Thanks Steve, for your fabulous suggestion. Relatability is another positive trait our book characters could show … to other characters in the story and to the reader …Cheers, Karen 🙂

  • Jacqui Halpin

    Great advice, Karen. 🙂

  • Thanks Jacqui.
    I pretty sure your main character from your children’s story “Black Jack Turner” has all those traits and MORE … Cheers, Karen 🙂

  • Another great article, Karen. I’m pinning this one for future reference.

  • Thanks Ali,
    As wrote this post with your fabulous story “Toby Fitz” in mind. Enjoying it immensely … Cheers, Karen
    Thanks in advance for pinning it 🙂

  • This is a really great post, Karen.

    I think number 3 is one trait I’ve yet to use for a protagonist in one of my books. This is one I could think about weaving in, but it will be an art for me since my books are mostly about diversity and bullying issues. My creativity is “kicking in.”

    Take care –

  • Hi Cherrye,
    Thanks for checking my post and commenting here.
    Interesting, that you chose humor as a trait you’d like to add to your character.
    From my experience, writing humor does take practice… the more you write something funny… the easier it gets.
    Good luck, Karen 🙂
    Karen 🙂

  • Leslee Anne Hewson

    On the mark, Karen. As always!:)

  • Thanks Leslee,
    For checking out my #10 Likeable Character traits. Thrilled you liked them…. Karen 🙂

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