Case Studies For Writers

a craft toolbox

Jul 15, 2019

Pulling Off Unlikable Main Characters (Part 2) - Writing Redeemable Villains and other Unlikable Characters

By Lidija Hilje.

In Pulling Off Unlikable Main Characters (Part 1) - Writing Irredeemable Villains, we discussed different types of unlikable characters, and some of the techniques that can be used in writing irredeemable villains.

In this article, we will explore the techniques a writer can use when writing redeemable villains and other unlikable characters, such as oddballs, weirdoes and jerks.

Writing unlikable but redeemable characters is not any easier than pulling off irredeemable psycho-villains, but there are more tactics available to make sure the reader will keep turning the pages.

Jul 12, 2019

Pulling Off Unlikable Main Characters (Part 1) - Writing Irredeemable Villains


By Lidija Hilje.

There’s a lot of talk about the importance of writing a likable protagonist. As readers, we have to like a character to be willing to devote several hours of our precious time to read their story. We want to feel invested in them and care about their story enough to be tempted to read a three-hundred-page book.

An unlikable main character can kill the book. If we hate the protagonist, we are almost sure to lose interest and put the book down before finishing it. Not to mention not recommending it to other readers.

But what if you want to write a character that isnt necessarily likable? Even more so, a character that is repugnant or revolting? Can it be pulled off, and how?