Will the readers relate to my main character?

by Elena

Question: I'm writing my first novel, I have absolutely no experience and the worse part is that I am not a native English speaker. But I am learning fast.

I'm writing in the 1st person and the main character is the narrator.

My concern is that readers will not relate to her. She is a sixteen year old girl, trying to be independent. In the first chapters she thinks highly of herself, thinks she has no flaws and that everyone should do as she thinks best. As the plot develops she starts to see another side of her, falls in love, get's her heart broken and eventually changes. It should be a comedy, in the sense that she will have her happy ending while realizing all the mistakes she has made.

Writing in the 1st person should give a great insight for the reader, so I hope my skills will be good enough to make her 'real'.

What do you think? Would she appeal to readers?

Answer: If you're intended audience are teenage girls, you're off to a fine start.

It's a bit of a twist. Most YA books feature an insecure girl who learns to feel better about herself. So it's an interesting choice to give the reader a character who changes to become wiser and more humble. (Perhaps a bit like Clueless?)

First person should help, since it will let the character speak to the reader directly. The reader can see the character's flaws before she does. Just make her charming, so the reader feels like she has a best friend who may be full of herself but is loveable all the same.

Perhaps the reader will want to keep reading just to see what crazy thing this egotistical girl will say next?

The other thing you might consider is that female readers tend to relate to characters who are running out of options as the plot progresses. You want to give her an important problem to wrestle with early on and then slowly back her into a corner so she has only two choices left at the climax. The right choice will be a change for the better.

Also, you might consider giving her an impact character - a non-egotistical friend, relative, boyfriend, teacher, etc. who gives her an example to follow at the climax.

These are just some thoughts. Use your own judgement regarding what to do with them. Follow your own passion above all.

Best of luck.

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Aug 20, 2012
Thank you so much
by: Elena

I didn't expect to get your answer so soon so thank you again.
I didn't read "Clueless" but I've heard of it. My impact character will be her crush and her relationship to him will draw the climax. Still not sure exactly how the story should go on, because it's my own experiance I'm telling and I'm changing it alot, to give it a better twist. But the thing you said, about the reader discovering her flaws before her is exactly what i had in mind. So your answer was really spot on and very helpful. This is a great site and I will 'abuse' with some other questions in the future if you don't mind. Have a great day!

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