Engaging Characters: Their Likability & The Longevity of Their Novels

It’s always interesting coming across studies like these, that combine psychology with the interest in reading. After all, the best characters are the most complicated, the ones we, secretly, love to psychoanalysise.

The Misfortune Of Knowing

What attributes help a writer develop engaging characters?

To explore this question, researchers at McMaster University, York University, and the University of Toronto designed a preliminary study in which subjects (students enrolled in an intro psych course, obviously) wrote brief character sketches based on a head-and-shoulders photograph of a man.* Then, a second set of students rated how interesting, likeable, and complex the characters were.

In the results, published last month in Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, the researchers found — unsurprisingly— that character sketches written by people who expressed an inclination to write fiction were more interesting and complex than the sketches written by people who didn’t express an inclination to write. While the characters produced by self-described creative writers were more interesting and complex, they were not more likable, causing the researchers to conclude:

[L]ikability of characters was distinct from other aspects of an engaging…

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Cover Reveal: OLD HAUNTS by Craig Hallam

Today on the blog, I'm welcoming British writer, Craig Hallam, whose fantasy and steampunk writings are as varied as they are brilliant - which is to say: muchly. I've had the absolute pleasure of chin-wagging with Craig in person on multiple occasions, since we met in Leeds about two years ago. His newest novel Old Haunts … Continue reading Cover Reveal: OLD HAUNTS by Craig Hallam

Book Tour with Ellen Gable

Today on the blog, I'm talking virtual book tour newness as Catholic writer Ellen Gable's novel Julia's Gifts is out now. Julia's Gifts, a World War I romance, is Ellen Gable's 8th book and I am delighted to be part of her virtual book tour! I've enjoyed the straightforward prose of her O'Donovan books that … Continue reading Book Tour with Ellen Gable

Review of These Savage Bones

I’ve followed Kaitlin Hillerich at her writing tips blog Ink and Quills for a while now, so I was delighted to learn that she was releasing her debut novella (and had done as of last October – I’m just so slow when it comes to keeping up with a single book, especially on Kindle. Sorry!) I … Continue reading Review of These Savage Bones

Going Back to My Novel

I look at the first lines of, well, it must be about chapter twenty-four but the chapter numbers have been so muddled about lately as I started almost completely rewriting that I can no longer discuss the novel in chapter numbers. I look at those first lines of this chapter I've set myself to reframe … Continue reading Going Back to My Novel

Cover Reveal: SIX PLUS ONE by Yawatta Hosby

Today on the blog, I’m hosting Yawatta Hosby, horror/suspense and woman’s fiction writer, for the cover reveal of her upcoming new novel. I’ve known Yawatta for a few years now, and had the privilege of assisting on her novella TWISTED OBSESSION. Here you see [an old photo of] me with my copy of ONE BY … Continue reading Cover Reveal: SIX PLUS ONE by Yawatta Hosby

Advice For Brides About Photography

You can find a whole bunch of advice about choosing your photographer and getting the most out of them online – but in actuality, I myself did not realise the kind of advice I needed about being a bride making decisions about wedding photography. Some of the harder things to decide when it comes down … Continue reading Advice For Brides About Photography

The Autumn Tag

Engie of Musings From Neville’s Navel tagged me in this lovely Autumn tag to answer some Autumn-related questions. I feel partially rather ignorant on some of these questions, mainly due to my lack of experience with pumpkin-related activities. But let’s give it a crack, eh! The smell of pumpkin guts or rotting leaves? Leaves! They … Continue reading The Autumn Tag

Fauxpocalypse Reviewed by Musings From Neville’s Navel

It’s been a while and I don’t really talk about it that much, but do you remember that anthology I was part of a few years ago whose collection of stories centred on an apocalypse that ended up not happening? My friend and fellow writer/student/bookaholic, Engie of the Musings From Neville’s Navel, purchased the collection … Continue reading Fauxpocalypse Reviewed by Musings From Neville’s Navel