Do you think the protagonist has to always be "likeable" and "sympathetic"?
if I could take those words out of existence. . .
this is regarding women's lit, by the way
Do you like Miss Snark?
Is she likeable?
Is she sympathetic?
(Correct answers listed below)
I think protagonists have to be compelling.
In chick lit, and romance and women's fiction you probably can't get away with a Jack Reacher (Lee Child's hero) or a John Rain (Barry Eisler's hero) .
I mostly want to smack Sophie Kinsella's protagonist Becky but I like reading about her.
Is Scarlett O'Hara likeable? Sympathetic? Maybe. One thing I know --she's compelling.
And the second Mrs. DeWinter in Rebecca....she's pitiable.
How about Jane Eyre?
You have to be compelling if you're not going to be likeable and sympathetic.
(Correct answers : yes, no and no.)