Ever wonder what makes a person likable?
I've been thinking about personalities and character traits - it's research in human development and also very helpful in writing.
I've come up with two very different examples of people that are likable - at least in my opinion.
First I'll go tame. Prince Harry. Dancing in Jamaica with his blue suede shoes. He seems to know how to have a good time. Not shy or timid but putting himself out there and having fun doing it - like someone you'd want to hang out with. Likable. Just when you think he hasn't a care in the world they cut to him giving a speech in a tux and then in one of his military uniforms ... now, I'm not saying I have a crush on Harry but he does seem to represent my idea of multi faceted man. I like that he drinks, dances - wouldn't any one of us hand over a problem or two to live like that kind of prince?
Second is a bit darker and that's why he's fascinating. Dexter Morgan. Okay, so he's not a real person but between the writers and the actors they do a fantastic job manipulating me into rooting for a guy that does bad things. He's a killer and by the end of each episode I'm out of my seat, pacing and biting my nails dying to know and not know what will happen. I love the show and the love is genuine. Dexter isn't having fun or carefree, he isn't faultless but there's something noble in his plight. Whatever it is, I'm hooked.
How did the writers of Dexter do that? What an amazingly powerful gift - to manipulate people into accepting the unreasonable. Something to think about and learn from.
Love it, love it, love it. If you like to write try watching people and figuring out what makes them annoying or funny ... what is it about people that we gravitate toward? Or away from? It's fun to do.
Is that sad to get your jollies by watching people? I think there's a entire industry built on that concept. Oh, well, for now all the people I watch usually keep their clothes on. Maybe someday (with different books) that'll change.
For anyone in Tucson this weekend March 10th & 11th -- I will be at the Festival of Books. I'll be at Mostly Books booth on Sat. 4:30 with JA Jance
2:30 on Sunday in the Integrated Learning Center
4:30 on Sunday speaking at the Alumni Author's tent on the mall.
Hope all is well in your world,