I watched the whole season of X-factor, and the judges kept mentioning likeability. "You're not only talented, but you have likeability," they would say. I think that's why Tate Stevens won, he was not only a great singer, but had the good old boy likeability.
It made me think about writing and showing the likeability of my characters. One writer referred to it as the 'pet the dog moment'.
In Windswept Shores, I showed my character Seth's likeability when he takes care of Megan when she's hurt. Seth makes light of her injuries to Megan, but when we're in Seth's POV he's worried.
Excerpt: Megan's POV:
Megan struggled to get up, but found her thigh swollen and sore. Damn, it’s infected.
Crawling out of the lean-to, she spotted a tea mug left out for her. Aw, that was thoughtful. She sat next to the camp fire, to stretch her hurt leg to one side. In the sunlight, she examined it again; veins crept-out from under the bandage. That can’t be good.
Picking up her cool tea, she took a sip. Ah, it’s sweet. God, it’s been a while since I tasted anything sugared.
“Oy, Megz,” Seth called out. “Ya have a nice beauty sleep?”
“Yes, I did,” she yelled.
He jumped off the boat and strolled over to her. Looking at her swollen leg with concern in his eyes, he said, “Yer got an infection, Megz.”
“Yeah, and I don’t know what to do about it.”
“No worries, mate,” he cheerfully told her. “I’ll clean it out proper, by getting out that piece that’s causing the problem.”
Seth digging around in my thigh? Megan swallowed hard. Oh, dear, he’s got huge hands.
Excerpt: Seth's POV:
Water drops hit Seth on the face. It’s raining again. He blinked up at the cliff above him, revealed in the fitful flicker of the dying fire. I’m out of the worst of it, but I’m still getting soaked.
“Get-out, get-out now,” screamed Megan as she fought her nightmare. He crawled into the shelter next to her. “No! No! Get out of the plane. It’s going to sink. Please, Jonathan, you’ve got to get out.” She sobbed. “No, it’s going under.”
“It’s okay, love. It’s already happened.” Seth rubbed her back. Megan was shivering worse than before. When he touched her cheek, she was hot.
Oh, bloody hell, I forgot to re-dress her wound and now she’s got a fever. Gawd, Bill, why’d you have to die? I could have used your help.
Pressure built in his chest. I don’t want to lose her, too.
I seem to use that kind of moments in my stories a great deal. One of the characters gets hurt or sick, and the other one will move heaven and earth to take care of them.
How do you show likeability in your characters?
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Janice Seagraves’s website: http://janiceseagraves.org/