Weekend Workout: Sympathy for Bad Boys (and Girls)

Last week I posted a workout about creating compassion for characters. More specifically, getting your readers to sympathize with a protagonist who isn’t a particularly nice person. Who probably changes by the end of the story, who probably redeems him or herself eventually, but who starts out as someone you might not want to bring home for dinner. This is something I am personally dealing with in my W.I.P. for my protagonist IdoLL. I brought this up in my writing group and we talked about the need to create a “save the cat” moment for her. Save the Cat is a book, and a concept, by screenwriter Blake Snyder (1956-2009). If you want to show who your hero is, have him save a cat early on in the story. Even if the character is a not-so-nice person,...