on The Write Practice:
Recall a time you made an effort to get someone to like you. Did you try to get them to relate to you, or want to spend more time with you? It’s kind of the same way with the main character in your book. Readers finish books when they care about what happens to the protagonist. To accomplish this, you need to craft a sympathetic character.
When you write a book, you’re asking readers to invite your character into their homes, their hangouts, their lives. It’s important to create a protagonist your reader wants to spend time with and that they care about enough to stick around to find out what happens to them.
Without that vital concern, suspense cannot be sustained. And without suspense, the reader will lose interest in your story. I talked about this in depth in my post on suspense.
Today, let’s talk about how to make your readers like—if not love—your characters so that you can sustain suspense in your book.