Quote Originally Posted by Biffington View Post
Then again, The Color of Magic sold tons, even though Rincewind was the worst, most victim protagonist ever.
Him being a cowardly victim was part of the parody though - he's a complete inversion of the fantasy hero archetype. I'm not saying he wasn't annoying, it's just that was the point.

Likeability is a tough one - very few of the characters in the mega-hit bestseller Gone Girl are particularly likeable, but the story is still compelling. Persistent victimhood can make a character less "likeable", but I'd say the problem here isn't that - it's that it feels like piling on the tragic backstory is actually undermining the overall story. In a way, this is the same problem as having your hero cop be *too* heroic - when a particular element is overemphasised, it can become a distortion that warps the storyworld and makes it seem less plausible.

(As an aside: there's something slightly problematic about all this because in reality, even hugely capable people fall victim to crimes. People don't cry out or fight back, and they hate themselves for it after because fiction has told them they should be able to fight back. And when people read about those real crimes, they don't have sympathy for the victims because they didn't do anything, again, because fiction says so. As always, reality is unrealistic.)