Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Bond Between Reader and Protagonist

Think about the people you would jump at the chance to be with. You know, the ones you would move your schedule around to help. Why would you do that? What makes you want to go out of your way to be with them?

Chances are they have traits you admire, and they make you want to be a better person. They have magnetism.

The main character in your book should have magnetism to draw readers into your story. Your protagonist should make readers want to readjust schedules and stay up late at night to find out what happens. 

Your main character needs to bond with your readers so they will read to the end of the book and feel satisfied.

Does that mean your MC has to be nice and likable? It helps, but a skilled writer can make readers care about even a very flawed protagonist if that character stirs within the readers empathy and emotion that makes them care what happens. 

The most successful novels are able to make readers bond with the main character within the first five pages of the book. 

Look at your novel. Does your protagonist bond with readers? If not, how can you show his/hers strengths and flaws in ways to make readers care?


  1. You're right. I have a hard time finishing a book when I don't like the protagonist.

    I've been looking for your book, Kathi. No luck yet. I'll keep trying. :)

  2. Michelle,
    Sorry you haven't found my book. Hmm. The new Deseret Book catalog has it in there, so I would think most DB stores would have it. Seagull Book definitely should. They tend to receive my books first. I did find The Stone Traveler at a Barnes and Noble, so they might eventually get River Whispers.

    You're very thoughtful to look for it. Please keep trying. :)



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