Characters Who Capture the Audience

Maybe it’s because Valentine’s Day is this month and love stories are on our mind here at PiP. Not your typical love stories, though. We’re talking about stories where your target audience forms an attachment to one of the main characters in your organization’s story.

In our work with clients to create and fine-tune their stories, we emphasize the importance of relatability, particularly how you can make your characters relatable to anyone reading the story. While your audience doesn’t have to be in an identical situation as your main character, it certainly helps if they can relate to some emotion that character is experiencing.

What types of situations make a character relatable?

  • Pain or suffering (harsh but true…we’ve all been there!)
  • Unfair treatment
  • A tough moral decision
  • A sense of mystery
  • Humor
  • Being proactive
  • Good at what they do

These experiences and situations tap into universal emotions– the things we’ve all felt and can feel again when we see it in someone else:

  • Affection
  • Loneliness
  • Fear
  • Fear of exclusion
  • Awe and wonder
  • Unrequited love
  • Rage at injustice
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Illness

As you develop a character for your nonprofit’s story, what relatable, universal emotion will you aim to evoke in your audience?

Let us know how we can help you perfect your story. And if all else fails, you can always use puppies, kittens, or cute kids as your foolproof strategy.