Have you read started to read a novel and felt it was too easy to put down? The story was written well and had an interesting premise, but you really just didn’t give a damn. This happens quite often really. In fact I just finished reading one that had the very same problem and that problem is connection.
Though there is no guaranteed fix for lacking connection, there are a few simple things we can do.
1. Start writing in first person pov. Using this point of view writing style certainly the easiest way to make a connection with the character, but it’s not fool proof. Better to try and write this way for a while till you can find that connection. From there, you can either continue with first person or try one of the other styles.
2. Show, don’t tell. It doesn’t matter how good of a writer you are, everyone makes this mistake once in a while. Letting the reader see what the characters are feeling will hit home much harder than simply writing ‘jack hated jill more than anything.’
3. Make the characters believable. Every character has their own strengths and weakness, but if they need to be identifiable. That means we need to find something with them that we like and possibly understand. You can create an odd looking protagonist, but the stranger they look, the harder it will be to feel for them.
Hopefully these tips will help. Just remember, if the writer can’t connect to their characters when writing the story, then reader won’t either. This is what I believe to be the key to turning a good story into a great novel.