But back to our hellcat. According to dictionary.com, hellcat is a noun that means:
1. a bad-tempered, spiteful, woman; shrew.
2. a woman with magic powers derived from evil sources; witch.
3. a spiteful fierce-tempered woman
Over time, the meaning has changed a little bit, and a hellcat, can be described as a volatile woman. It’s always been my ambition to have a woman like that in one of my novels and I’ve succeeded. (Bully for me!) This woman, Celeste Davies, appears in two stories. In the first, she was a major-pain-in-the-ass for her sister, to whom the story belonged.
Celeste was such a strong character, I had to give her a novel of her own and let me tell you, it’s the most roller-coaster-ridish romance I’ve written to date. At first, my reader’s didn’t like her as she personified all the various definitions of snarky. She was unpleasant, irritable, and full of wise-cracks. She was also mean to the hero, so of course, I had to tone her down.
In my second revision, I made her less snarky, but she was still a hellcat, which worked to her advantage. Try kidnapping a victim who won’t cooperate, is full of lip and goes ballistic when hit. I did the following to make her more likeable:-
- I gave her some redeeming qualities. She cared a lot for the hero, even to the point of doing something really stupid to try and protect him. She fell in love with his nephews - a pair of four-year-old twins – which kinda changed her outlook on her situation. Mostly internal stuff here, but it made her more human.
- I made sure her facetiousness didn’t tip over into unkindness. Her boyfriend hurt her and did deserve some bad treatment; however, nobody likes sustained meanness. Apart from some verbal digs on the subject of irresponsible men, plus some attitude, Mark got off relatively easy.
- Nothing helps a reader understand a character better than showing why the person is the way they are. Celeste’s disastrous forays into love, not to mention Mark’s earlier treatment, forced her to protect herself by using nasty comments and trying to close off her emotions. She also felt unable to sustain a long-term relationship based on her past. I tried harder to make the reader understand and empathise with her situation.
- Over the course of the story, Celeste had to examine the way she did things and how her impulsive behavior endangered Mark. Her growth and change was slow, but it did reveal itself by the end of the story. She emerged a more responsible and open woman who stopped running away from her problems
Why Your Main Characters Should be Likeable
Create A Likeable Protagonist
Do Characters Need to be Likeable?
How do you make your strong characters more likeable?
I'll be out and about with the little one today, so will catch up with your blogs later in the evening into tomorrow. Have a great day!
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