Home Forums Fiction Characterization Unlikable 12-Year-Old MC

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  • #47284

    raevynstar
    @raevynstar
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    In my secondary project, which is realistic/Christian fiction, the main character, Fiona, is…unlikable at first. To say the least. She’s not evil, but she’s petty, spoiled, and judgemental.
    This book is a retelling of The Secret Garden, so you know she’s going to be redeemed. 😉 But how do I keep readers invested in such a whiny brat’s point of view for the first few chapters?

    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by  raevynstar.
    #47286

    Daeus
    @daeus
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    @raevynstar Confidence is key. A good spoiled brat sees the world in black and white. Their confidence in themselves is unflinching and they don’t consider other ways of looking at things. Such firmness inspires respect, even in fools.

    Don’t know if that fits your character, but it’s one thing that works really well.

    #47292

    Josiah DeGraaf
    @aratrea
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    @raevynstar I wrestled through the same question when writing my second book. I think the key is to not make Fiona completely unlikeable. Give her some likeable traits and give the reader some hints that she’s eventually going to change. If you can also give her sympathetic motivations for her unsympathetic actions and show us what sort of things Fiona fears and hopes for, that should do a lot to flesh out her character and keep readers invested. 🙂

    #47303

    Josiah DeBoer
    @josiahdeboer
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    @raevenstar – I’ve always found that one of the best ways to do that is to explore why the main character is a brat. Did he/she have a tough childhood? Did a parent die? Etc.

    I find that helpful and that it extends some sympathy to the MC

    #47305

    Josiah DeBoer
    @josiahdeboer
    • Rank: Wise Jester
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    Ooops. @raevynstar

    #47311

    DaughterOfTheKing
    @daughteroftheking
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    @raevynstar *grins from ear to ear because I loooove The Secret Garden* I found the article really helpful when it comes to my unlikeable characters. It might not be exactly what you’re after, but there are some good points in there. 🙂

    #47312

    DaughterOfTheKing
    @daughteroftheking
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
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    I just realized I typed “the article” instead of “this article.” *laughs at self* It makes it sound like some sort of revered, secret thing. XD

    #47314

    Ingrid
    @ingridrd
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
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    @raevynstar
    I think you could do one of two things. You could go with what @daeus said and make her completely confident in herself…or you could make her doubt herself and her abilities. Maybe she’s really insecure and doesn’t quite know who she is. Anyway, just some thoughts.

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