"E" is for Empathy
Missy Tippens, here. As Lindi said, this month we'll be blogging about heroes and heroines for the A-Z Challenge. I want to talk about what makes us like a hero (or heroine). And how, as writers, we can make sure our readers love the ones we create.
To make someone fall in love with our main characters, we have to create reader empathy.
My favorite resource for instruction on how to do this is Michael Hauge and Chris Vogler's DVD series The Hero's Two Journeys.
Two of my favorite techniques Hauge mentions are
--to make my hero the victim of some undeserved misfortune
--to make my hero an especially likeable or good person
In my most recent release, A House Full of Hope, the heroine is a widowed mom of four struggling to buy a house and create the idyllic home for her kids. With her husband dying, she's the victim of undeserved misfortune. I also tried to show her being a good, caring person.
In the same story, the hero was a former bad boy who has come home seeking redemption. And no one wants to have anything to do with him--including his dad. So we see him being the victim of misfortune right off the bat, because he's trying so hard to apologize and make things right.
I had fun with these people! I hope readers will empathize with them and root for them to find their happy ending.
Can you think about your favorites in books you've read? What made you root for them?