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Making the reader have feelings for the main character?

Discussion in 'The Authors' Café' started by TeamRocketGrunt, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. TeamRocketGrunt

    TeamRocketGrunt WobbWobbWobb Wobrudo

    I'm writing an original story in which a Japanese kid goes to the USA and ends up missing his brother and wants to go home. (I say brother because they have no parents.)

    Now, what kind of words, phrases, or situations could be used so the reader will feel bad for the character?
  2. SilentMemento

    SilentMemento Lone Wolf

    If the character is well-written enough and feels like a living entity that people can relate to (which is what the best characters usually are), the audience will usually sympathize with them. So far, you've already set up a situation like that. The main character is far away from his home, feels a bit homesick, and misses his family (in this case, a little brother). Young men and women who have recently moved out of their home, especially those with a younger sibling who is still at home, will be drawn to the character if he is written well enough. You may have to expand on it a bit (How did they lose their parents? Has he taken a job - or maybe two - to earn enough money to go out of the country to college? Things like that.), but so far, you've set up a scenario where people will sympathize with him and his plight.

    As for words and phrases...you want to mention it in passing. Describing the character's mood, body language, how he talks and acts, and how he interacts with other people will say a whole lot more and hit a whole lot harder than merely describing it in detail. You want to make it noticeable, but not enough to the point where it's beating the readers over the head with it.

    Other than that, I don't have much to add. Good luck with your story.
  3. TeamRocketGrunt

    TeamRocketGrunt WobbWobbWobb Wobrudo

    I understand what you mean. And it's his older brother, the character is 6 in this story, therefore he relies on his older brother for care, explaining why he flew away.
  4. Kaiserin

    Kaiserin please wake up...

    I also want to mention, although I'm a little late to this -- please, please, please do your research on Japanese culture, how it treats its children, and how culture shock would affect a six-year-old who has only ever lived in Japan all his life. Maybe look up testimonials on Japanese immigrants to the United States, too. It might be a tedious task, but you will be much better off for it.
  5. lovetheangelshadow

    lovetheangelshadow One heck of a Nobody

    Kaiserin makes a very good point. R&D is mucho importante

    Now for something I DO know about. Yes it is important to make readers feel for your character let it be like, dislike, hate, disgust etc etc and so on and so forth. In fact if the protagionist does not have any endearing or appeaking traits (even a darker character can be interesting to a reader if done well) chances are people will walk away from the story. I've seen tales where you just cannot get on any level with the protagionist and it makes it hard to read the story. The big question ye asked yourself is "Why should we care?" Even with my own OC I am working on, even when the protagionist becomes the antagionist he is still appealing as a character because you understand why he's turned to the dark side (a little chiche phrase there but its universal).

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