I had an interesting conversation with someone on New Year’s Day about the characters of my books, and the question of whether or not they were likable. She had strong opinions on that, some of which surprised me (although her arguments were quite sound).
Character likability is a tricky issue for an author, because the author’s foremost responsibility is to present the characters credibly. People don’t necessarily behave in nice or admirable ways. Furthermore, characters who DO behave in nice and admirable ways aren’t necessarily interesting — a sanctimonious prig may be far less likable than a good-humored bounder.
So, here’s a question for discussion: What makes a character likable for you?