For Writers: Rooting Interests

1)  We care about characters we feel sorry for (empathy)

2) We like characters with humanistic traits

3)  We like to admire the character


Most importantly, we like someone with a mix from all three of these categories.



undeserved mistreatment                                                      

undeserved misfortune (bad luck)                                        

physical or mental handicap                                                  

frustration or humiliation (embarrassment)                          

a moment of weakness                                                               



telling the truth but not being believed                                 

exclusion and rejection (not one of the group)                      

loneliness and neglect                                                          

feeling guilty when one’s mistake causes pain                    

represses pain                                                                        

life endangerment                                                                  


Humanistic traits:                                                               

lets down his defenses in a private moment                          

(bonus pts if someone invades his privacy and humiliates him)

helps less fortunate

relates to children

children like character

patting the dog & dog likes character

change of heart

comes to aid of a friend

risk life for another

sacrifices themself

cares for just cause (dies for a just cause)

ethical or moral & responsible

dependable, loyal

loves other people

generous, caring act, compassion, altruistic


Admiration traits:

Power and charisma


Courage (mental and physical)



Skilled (competent)

Thoughtful & wise

Witty & clever

Sense of humor


Physical and athletic

Wounded and continues on

Unique way of living

Underdog who tries hard

Active rather than passive

Surrounded by admirers



Receive a free short story when you sign up.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
What Free short story would you like to read? *
Which Newsletter would you prefer to receive?