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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Likeability by Janice Seagraves


Likeability 
by 
Janice Seagraves 


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.
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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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Trade paperback: https://www.createspace.com/4084680
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AS9NDNO 
Janice Seagraves’s website: http://janiceseagraves.org/

25 comments:

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Tina Donahue said...

There's nothing sexier than an Alpha male with a heart. That gentleness only enhances their strength. :)

Tina Donahue said...

BTW: all those deleted comments were from the same source (anonymous) spamming about some kind of pen with a bunch of urls.

jean hart stewart said...

Generally actions define the character, and of course heros have to be caring people. Always fun to go back in, make sure there is enough defining action for the character to shine.

Sandy said...

Janice, a good post. Yes, we like our alpha males to have a heart.

Janice Seagraves said...

Hi Tina,

I agree and thank you for telling me. I was wondering what was going on.

Hi Jean,

Yes, heart is very important.

Hi Sandy,

I like to put it that hero's can't be too alpha to show they care.

Janice~

Harlie Reader said...

I will agree. I don't care if the hero is Alpha/Beta/whatever, he has to have a beating heart. I posted a review about an Alpha that had a beating heart and that made me love that much more.

Marika/Harlie

Melissa Keir said...

Love guys with a heart...both for real and in books!

Harlie Reader said...

Great book, too. :)

Marika/Harlie

LKF said...

Great post Janice. I love your excerpt and I love the characters in your book. I know this book will do great !!!!!!
Lynda

Nicole Hurley-Moore said...

Great post, Janice.

Tamara Eaton said...

Janice,

One of the things I've noticed in romance movies lately is that they show the women as very unlikable at first. I guess they are trying to show a character arc, but it comes off poorly. It's hard to care about a character you don't like at the outset. :)

Katalina said...

I enjoy being surprised by a character's change of heart or see them do something the reader knows doesn't come easy.

Katalina said...
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Janice Seagraves said...

Hi Harlie,

Yes. I agree 100%.
And thank you so much. :)

Hi Melissa,

Me too. :)

Hi Lynda,

Thank you for saying so. :)

Hi Tamara,

That's too bad.

One of the things that hooks and holds a reader or viewer is kindness and heart. It's okay to so a hard person, but show them sneaking food to a stray cat or pet a dog moment to show they have heart.

Hi Nicole,

Thank you. :)

Hi Katrina,

That is always a special moment in any book. :)

Janice~

Pamela K. Kinney said...

Even a villain, unless you want him/her all villain and unlikeable,if want one that is complex (like Darth Vader-Palpatine was all villain) have something likeable. Like suddenly, he/she cares for a canary in a cage kept in his/her office, etc..

Janice Seagraves said...

Hi Pamela,

I get what you're saying. Like oo7's Nemesis No. 1 with his white cat he always had in his lap.

Janice~

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