Sunday, April 22, 2007
Rooting For the Squirrel
As I was driving the family to church this morning I had an interesting and brief encounter with a squirrel. The wee beastie darted out in front of me and made a dash for the other side of the road, apparently not to be outdone by the chicken. I was the only one on the road at the time and I judged that he just might make it. In that instant I decided to root for his success. When I wondered why, I realized that it was a bit like writing. You root for the underdog. You root for the little guy who's trying to achieve his life's dream even though there's a multi thousand pound minivan of doom bearing down on him. Make you characters like that and you will win over readers. However, I offer one word of caution: without the real possibility that your main character might fail he's not really that likeable underdog, is he? Since I instinctually understood this... I did not slow down.