Is anyone else watching ‘The Apprentice’?

Before you all huff and puff and throw things at the PC screen, let me say in my defence that it’s pretty much the only thing I watch on TV at the moment AND I do other things (like this blog!) while it’s on.

I would like to predict, that none of the nasty people (not mentioning any names but anything-but-melodious ‘Melody’ from last night’s episode, for one) will NOT win.

This is because we don’t, on the whole, like self-centred, arrogant people who love themselves. Bear this in mind when you’re writing! The reader needs to LIKE the main character! We don’t want a hero who’s cowardly or mean-spirited or cruel to animals. That may sound really obvious to you but when someone told me that once, a few years ago, it was a ‘lightbulb moment’ for me.

But it’s a no-brainer really, isn’t it? (Sorry, awful expression!). Your hero or heroine doesn’t have to be perfect – in fact it’s probably better if they’ve got the odd flaw or two, just to make them a little more believable – BUT as readers we are looking for heroic characteristics in our heroes. We want to follow characters who are feisty or brave, generous or kind, funny or clever, charming or go-getting; characters who don’t give up, who stand up for themselves and others, characters we’d like to be friends with – heck, characters we’d like to BE!

Don’t write about boring dull people, who never do anything. There’s enough of those in the real world.

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8 Responses to Is anyone else watching ‘The Apprentice’?

  1. I sometimes find it surprisingly dificult to create likeable characters. It’s as though, because I know they’re the good guy, I don’t think I need to show the reader that.

  2. Heather says:

    I haven’t caught up with this series but I watched the last one avidly and I agree those who are self centred are not likeable and have no people skills (and I thought that was essential). Likewise with writing if a character has no weakness or flaw the reader will have no sympathy with him/her. Even the meanest character has to have something the reader can identify with. Back to The Apprentice – I find the interview stage at the end (the last candidates remaining) rather revealing. That’s when the true personality is forced out of the woodwork!

    • I agree Heather – the interviews are always the best bit! I am sure they pick some of the candidates on the basis of their CVs, knowing that they have lied/exaggerated, just so that they can be caught out on camera!

  3. Susan Jones says:

    Hi Helen,
    I’m with you on being addicted to the Apprentice. They are such dipsticks aren’t they? Melody is quoting almost every sickening quote there is. Did you hear her last night. ‘Is that victory I’m tasting?’ after she drank the champagne.
    I thought Leon was hilarious when he nominated the one guy, and he told him, ‘no you shouldn’t get rid of me’ and he replied, ‘no, you’re right.’ I think if Alan Sugar didn’t fire him for hesitation and indecision he must see a potential there. Besides, sometimes the more they go into the board room, the more he sees of them. Leon is real, and showed compassion to his team mate. Now I think he’ll have to fight hard to be more believable. I could imagine him as a Mills and Boon character. In the girls team, I don’t think Edna will last long. What about those gloves? For you, and you, and you……

    • Episode 2 Spoiler Alert! Susan, yes! I completely agree about Edna. She’s for the chop! (But hopefully not too soon because she’s so entertaining). Last night was a classic, with those GLOVES – I am still tittering about ‘you and you and you…’ and what about the way she kept stopping the other girl (‘Susan’, was it?) from talking about her ‘brilliant idea’?! (Admittedly I might have wanted to do the same as Susan’s verbal constipation was annoying to say the least, but I don’t think I could have been quite so rude!). I also loved the David Brent-esque speech about who should deliver the presentation: “I’ve considered all your strengths… and decided that, the person who should deliver the three minute presentation is… ME!” (said completely without irony!) And then she was terrible! (But they still won! Darn!)

      Anyway, The Apprentice, for any uninitiated amongst you (what are you doing?!), is well worth a watch if you’re interested in people and how they behave. And as writers, isn’t that all of us…?!

  4. Pat says:

    I’m addicted, too.
    It’s a great way to ‘borrow’ characters for a novel or short story – so I count watching as research.

  5. CLARE BASKOTT says:

    You really can’t beat watching those endearing folk ‘rolling out the punches’……….

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