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October 22, 2009

Lovable Characters

Thursday Thirteen

I picked up a copy of The Everything Guide to Writing a Romance Novel by Christie Craig and Faye Hughes the other day and came across a great list of how to make fictional characters lovable.

Thirteen Ways to Make Characters Lovable

1. Make your character an underdog. Give them a handicap and have them refuse to give up.

2. Have your character willing to admit he made a mistake and set out to make amends.

3. Make your character hurt emotionally but remain strong for others in his life.

4. Make your character kind to the underdog, small children, elderly people or animals.

5. Have a character who is self-sacrificing.

6. Have a character who is able to laugh at his or her own mistakes.

7. Have a character who is levelheaded.

8. Have a character make a mistake but for the right reasons.

9. Have a character who is the strong, silent type and means well but is unable to express it.

10. Have a character who takes risks and is willing to pay the price.

11. Have a character who has depth, layers and secrets.

12. Have a character who is able to forgive.

13. Make your character work against the odds to succeed.

Source: The Everything Guide to Writing a Romance Novel: From writing the perfect love scene to finding the right publisher–All you need to fulfill your dreams (Everything Series)

What makes characters lovable for you? Can you think of other reasons to add to the list?


  1. Ms Menozzi

    I would add “sincere” to this list, as well as “honest.”

    Both of those things can inadvertently add to the conflict, when a character acts altruistically but falls short of his expectations.

    Great list, though. Thanks for sharing that! :)

    Ciao for now!
    Happy TT!

  2. Stephanie Adkins

    Great list, Shelley. I agree with Ms Menozzi. I would put sincere and honest in there too. :grin: Happy Thursday!

  3. Ella Drake

    I’ve always liked the type of character in number 3 when I read.

    As for levelheaded, I’d add that I like to see a level character until a certain quirk makes the character tip. shows strength and weakness.
    Happy Thursday!

  4. ChrisQ

    Excellent list! Number 11 is one of my favorites. Happy T13!

  5. Hootin' Anni

    I don’t read romance novels. But I like reading about underdogs.

    My 13 is posted, if you can stop by for a visit it’d be awesome…but if you can’t have a great Thursday anyway. Click HERE and scroll down a bit on my post.

  6. Inez Kelley

    Good stuff, even when you twist the circumstances, the core of a character is broken down here very nicely.

  7. Adelle Laudan

    Good stuff. I think she covered all bases.
    Happy T13!

  8. Zora Stout

    Nice list; I love those characters who are bigger than life, so to speak – and I realize that’s when characters have some of the characteristics listed above

  9. Richard

    Great list, must add that I always like it when someone kicks a little ass when its deserved too.

  10. she

    good writing tool! are you doing nano?

    happy tt!

  11. Jennifer Leeland

    This is an awesome list. I’m with Richard. Have the character kick some ass. LOL.

  12. Alice Audrey

    So in other words, someone nice who is struggling.

  13. Elise Logan

    hm. I like having a character be protective and ass-kicky, too.

    Nice list.

  14. Heather

    Excellent list, Shelley!

  15. Mary

    I like characters that in the beginning you think they are hard, tough and dark but as the story goes on you see they are actually really nice, tender and have big hearts and not at all as tough and hard as they thought they were.

  16. Linda Henderson

    A character should have the ability to see whats on the inside and not just what’s on the outside.

  17. Janice Seagraves

    Sounds good, I’ll have to remember all that for my next ms.

    Happy TT.

  18. Susan Helene Gottfried

    Christie Craig is a HOOT! She sends me links for Win a Book, and getting to know her has been a pleasure. I’ll definitely listen to anything she says about creating character.

  19. Amy Ruttan

    I like fighters, underdogs, and layered characters. Great list. :)

  20. Yvette Davis

    That sounds like a good book! Some of them on the list sound like “Save the cat!” moments especially 4 and 5. I personally struggle with writing multi-layered characters, but then, it’s not easy!