Wednesday, March 10, 2010

WiP Wednesday: Saving Your MC--From Herself

Let's face it, some people were not put upon this earth to be Pollyannas.

Some of us don't always show our more sensitive side, and yes, sometimes we can be a little self-centered. Doesn't mean we're not worth writing a book about. Of course, we no one will care about our story unless we give them a reason to.

My WiP, Strings, has a heroine who is the complete opposite of my last heroine, Evangeline. She's bold, brash, and naive--and those are her good qualities. She's also selfish and short-sighted and can hold a grudge like nobody's business. This being a maturation story, it's necessary to show how the character grows up, so her immaturity is a key element in the beginning.

So how do I make the reader care more about her?

I suppose I could go with a tried and true "Save the cat" type moment (I do like the examples used in this post). Make her likable by showing her best qualities. Which are what, again? ;) Her love for her dead father? Her love for the old horse that she regrets having to sell? Her vulnerability?

The problem is, I'm not sure if just one teary-eyed goodbye to an old gray horse is enough to make up for some of the mean things she does as the story progresses. I mean, I want to make her more sympathetic to the reader, but I don't want to turn her into this:

Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon before? Any advice on how to keep my mc's personality intact while increasing reader sympathy?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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