Saturday 5 July 2014

Sympathetic doesn't have to mean likeable

Yes, we've heard all this before.
Your protagonist does not have to be likeable. ~Bill Froug

Characters don’t have to be nice to be likeable. Nice is boring. But they do have to be entertaining. ~Nigel Cole

I don’t care if people like a character or not; we don’t always like everybody. But you have to be able to understand them. ~Julianne Moore

It doesn’t matter if your lead character is good or bad. He just has to be interesting, and good at what he does. ~Justin Zackham
Jennine Lanouette, who made this video clip, believes that characters need to be vulnerable. Her point is made with examples from movies. 

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Jennine Lanouette makes a cogent argument for gaining audience sympathy by placing a character at a power disadvantage when, or close to when, they are introduced.

This is particularly effective when power is the most important value in the audience culture. I would argue there are other ways of gaining audience sympathy, for example, showing a character making a morally difficult decision or showing a character in love.