People May Not Remember Your Book But They Will Definitely Remember Your Central Character
By Mary Walker Baron
So create a central character people will love and will neverforget. Gifted and prolific novelist Lee Child has this to say, “One basic rule that applies is: it’s not the writer who decides whether a character is cool; the reader makes that decision.” Of course, Lee Child created the most amazing character imaginable. His Jack Reacher wanders the country carrying nothing but a toothbrush. He doesn’t even bother with a change of clothes. When what he’s wearing becomes too rank he buys new clothes. He stands for justice and does whatever needs to be done to achieve it.
We place our souls at the feet of our readers. The least we can do is give them some one unforgettable.
It’s amazing to watch central characters develop. The late Sue Grafton became a better writer with each successive book. Her central character, Kinsey Millhone, also grew and developed along with her creator. Unlike Sue Grafton, the novelist Patricia Cornwell seems to become a worse writer with each new book. Unfortunately, though, she created a riveting central character in Dr. Kay Scarpetta. And so I just keep reading each new Patricia Cornwell Kay Scarpetta novel.
Create an unforgettable central character. People may not remember any of your books but if you do your job with that main character, they will read everything you write.