Hot topic for fiction writers– does your main character have to be likable?

This debate has been popping up on literary sites all month–see the New York Times  article link attached below. It’s true that the “like” factor is often one of the first measures that comes up in fiction workshop critiques. For this reason, it’s essential that fiction writers challenge this assumption early in their development. Consider this quote from Zoe Heller:

“A distinctive pleasure of fiction is the opportunity to experience the world from the point of view of people unlike ourselves.”

Are We Too Concerned That Characters be ‘Likable’?


About Sandy Barron

Author of The Heiress of Water (HarperCollins, 2006) and Stay With Me (Harper, 2010)
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