As of late my wife and I started watching the TV Show, Castle.
The character of Alexis, was a likeable, grounded character in the show. We really liked the father-daughter interactions and how the character was in many ways a moral compass for the Richard Castle character.
We are several seasons into the show and really, really dislike when the Alexis character shows up. So much so, that we are tempted to fast forward just to get away from that character’s scenes.
This brought up the thought, “Do I have any characters in my story that have turned from likeable into an annoyance that drives the audience away?” Any of my characters could become annoying for the same reason I don’t like the Alexis character:
- The likeable quality(s) the character starts off with, eventually changes dramatically…they are now a different character
- The character’s role in the story is forced
- The character doesn’t find a reason to get back to who they use to be
- The author refuses to kill off the annoying character
I’m sure we all have characters that start of as a favorite, but then change. When writing our stories, I’d like to suggest if a character changes “too much”, then we need to replace that character’s role with another likeable character.
And don’t forget, it’s okay to kill off a character every now and again, because sometimes they’ve worn out their usefulness. . .and one way to please our audience is to kill off a character who deserves it.