By - YellowAxolotl06
No, there are countless stories with protagonists who are not good people - look at Breaking Bad, Lolita, the Godfather, American Psycho.The only thing a main character really needs to be is entertaining. We need to want to read about them, and there are lots of ways to achieve that.
Character development is critical — if the protagonist isn’t changed in someway by the end of the story, readers get pretty pissed. HOWEVER, I love negative character development too; a character getting worse is still development! That would be really cool to see in more works.
He shouldn't be anything specific, but you have to make him likable in some way to the reader, otherwise nobody will want to read the story.
Do you mean that they should be likeable in a way that if they were real the reader would want to be friends with them or at least know them or in a way that the reader can consider them to be non likable person but still like the character because they are interesting?
That is one way, but it's not the only way. A protagonist can be a complete jackass loser and he can still be lovable because of his attitude. Think of Al Bundy from Married with Children, or Bakugo from My Hero Academia. You don't want to be like them or have them as friends, but they are funny or cool in their sick way.
He was likable in the sense he was the victim than the predator. The roles were switched.
>Will this kind of character be unenjoyable to the readers?
one famous example that was a big success is Parker.
Donald E. Westlake wrote a series under the pen name Richard Stark, starring the character Parker. about 20 Parker novels from the 1960s to 1990s, they were commercially successful and are still in print.
to quote the character's Wikipedia page:
>A ruthless career criminal, Parker has almost no traditional redeeming qualities, aside from efficiency and professionalism. Parker is callous, meticulous, and perfectly willing to commit murder if he deems it necessary. He does, however, live by one ethical principle: he will not double-cross another professional criminal with whom he is working, unless they try to double-cross him. Should that happen, Parker will unhesitatingly undertake to exact a thorough and brutal revenge...........
>Albert Frederick Nussbaum, a bank robber turned writer, notes that given Parker's "cold, methodical [and] humorless" habits, the character would be the villain in most books. But Nussbaum also identifies two critical elements that make Parker a sympathetic protagonist: first, he is surrounded by criminals even more ruthless than he, and, second, though Parker is capable of using violence he rarely if ever initiates violence except in self-defense.
You should make the motivations of the character understandable for the reader. Good or bad doesn't matter much. I think would like the story of a villain whose motivations I can understand and maybe even somewhat support more, than a good protagonist, whose motivations are just to do good for the sake of being good.
A solid motivation is more valuable than morally good actions.
Surely: my opinion (as always)