Monday, February 1, 2010

Finding Love in All the Wrong Characters

Interesting review of Amy Bloom's latest book, "Where the God of Love Hangs Out," exploring how to make unappealing characters appealing -- one of the most difficult challenges a fiction writer faces. Favorite sentence from the review: "It's a mysterious thing, the fact that a reader can fall in love with a nonexistent person."

On this topic, I recently had an extensive email debate with a friend who read an advance copy of my novel. She wanted to pick a bone about a sentence of dialogue involving the least likable character in the book. We went back and forth on this for quite awhile. And it dawned on me: She was fighting for a non-existent, unappealing character. That's when I knew there was no way I was going to rewrite that sentence.

What do you think? How do you make unappealing characters appealing?

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