Tuesday 9 April 2013

A-Z Challenge: H: House

My theme for A-Z is What I Learned About Writing from Watching TV aka Justifying my TV Habit.
MCs don’t have to be perfect human beings. House is the main character in, well, House, and he is not perfect. Far from it. He’s arrogant, rude, dislikeable at times. He treats people badly. He is also funny, often right, and saves people. He’s interesting and holds our interest.

I think in a novel we have to be careful not to write an MC who is so dislikeable we can’t stand being in their head for 300 pages. But it doesn’t mean they have to be perfect.

Quote: "And humility is an important quality. Especially if you're wrong a lot.... Of course, when you're right, self-doubt doesn't help anybody, does it?"


  1. The thing about House is he may have a slew of dislikeable qualities, but he is smart and witty at the same time.
    It is essential that your MC have flaws. If they didn't, how could anyone relate to them.

  2. I really like that mad doctor!
    Dani @ Entertaining Interests

  3. I enjoyed "House" (yay, a TV show I know!!). As a writer, he's exactly the opposite of all the advice we get about MCs. As you say, he's not particularly likeable: he's obnoxiously blunt, he's arrogant, and he's clinical to the point of callous. In fact, he's rather like Sherlock Holmes. And yet both are hugely successful MCs, because somehow, somewhere there's a hero in there. There's someone you want to root for. You want that humanity you know is buried deep down to show through--even for just a moment. And I think there's something to the fact that they don't side with the "bad guys." They may be rude to their friends and their patients/clients, but they know which side of the fence to be on. :)

  4. I've never watched "House". But love flawed characters.

  5. I watched that show because of that character. Imperfect characters are the best.

  6. yeah I agree with the other comments here. Imperfect heros are the best but they have to have something to make them connect with the reader or viewer. I'm working on a character now who is the bad guy, and cannot think of any characteristics to make him more human...but of course he's not the hero

  7. JL - absolutely, he is always funny and usually right and that helps!

    Dani - me too!

    Colin - absolutely, there are MANY reasons not to like him, but we root for him! We want to root for him. It's so difficult to do well but really works when it does.

    Regina - ahh House is good!

    MJ - he is the reason to watch ;)

    Sassy - i agree always helpful to have a connection to a character, whoever they are. however bad they are, too.

  8. I think I watched too many House episodes before writing my first book - I almost made my main character too unlikeable!

  9. All right, this one I haven't actually seen. Loooove the actor for house though in everything I've ever seen him in. He's always full of sarcasm and snark :)

    Allison (Geek Banter)

  10. Have you ever watched a kdrama? Those totally inspire my work. If you have Netflix you should look up Flower Boy Ramen shop :)

  11. You can forgive a lot if the delivery is jaunty, sharp and makes you laugh.

  12. I love your theme--you learn so much by watching TV! I enjoy House. He pretends not to give a damn about anything--and maybe he really doesn't care. But I want to believe that beneath it all, there's some humanity to him; he just doesn't like to show it. He's afraid to show his "weak" (in his estimation) feelings.

  13. Alex - how funny that House affected you so ;)

    Allison - ah Hugh Laurie is AWESOME.

    J.A. - i haven't at all. I will look it up!! Thank you!!

    Diana - true, humour makes me forgive a LOT.

    Cathy - I certainly do ;) And yes I think that below it all he cares. He cares about Robert Sean Leonard's character for a start.

  14. I watched the first episode and didn't like him at all and didn't watch again for a few years. He was so rude to everyone. lol. I decided to try it again because it was so popular and really ended up getting in to it and watched all the episodes.

  15. Jeff - glad you got into it, it's definitely enjoyable!


Please comment, I'd love to know what you think! :)