characters make or break a story

I’ve been watching the TV series Supernatural for the last couple of months on Netflix.

Purely so I can talk to you about character.  *cough*

Supernatural is short on plot, shorter on logic. Shortest of all on production values. In my next life, I want to be the guy who stands around on the Supernatural set with a bucket of blood to throw on a wall right before the commercial.


And yet, Supernatural is highly entertaining. It’s in its eighth season, for crying out loud.

What’s the secret?

The main characters.


Dean and Sam Winchester are two orphaned brothers who hunt supernatural creatures. Sounds ridiculous, I know. And it is. But the interplay between the two brothers is fun, fascinating, heartbreaking and universal. One episode might portray the theme of forgiveness, something we all have to do at some point in a relationship. Then the next episode might play up the silly rivalry-banter brothers indulge in. And the next week the Winchesters might team up to stop the Apocalypse. Like I said, thin plots.


But the relationship between the main characters peaks and dips, becomes complicated and gets repaired. We care about these guys. Bunches.

That’s how to make your reader stick with your novel. Create characters who they feel attached to, and want to keep company with to the end of the story.



About Lisha Cauthen

Lisha Cauthen writes YA novels for guys that girls like to read too.

Posted on February 19, 2013, in writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. So true, Lisha. And thanks for admitting you watch this series. I’ve never seen it but I have my own péché mignon that I love to watch (and read) too.

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