Monday, November 2, 2015

Character Flaws in Fiction and Real Life.

Often in fiction, we read about a character with a major flaw. The flaw serves as a challenge to the character, but also gives the character something to overcome during the story. Readers want to see that character overcome and be the hero they were meant to be.

For my main character in Native Shifter, I gave Rayen the flaw of being resistant to change. When she wakes up as a wolf after a battle, a drastic change is forced on her. She continues to resist the reality of her situation and this keeps her from the things she wants, including the very thing she wants the most - being human again.

With fiction, we love to see someone overcome their obstacles both on the inside and outside.

But what about real people? Do we ever think about our own flaws and how they could be holding us back from our dreams? Perhaps we have been convinced over the years when certain things went wrong that this flaw will never go away. Ask yourself, what am I doing that keeps myself from the things I want to accomplish?

It doesn’t matter if the flaw never fully goes way. Knowing is most of the battle and not giving into it day after day is the important thing. For a long time I knew shyness and being under confident was an issue for me, but I never really saw it as something that held me back until I was older. I always used to think – that’s just the way I am. But now when I have doubt, I just tell myself to go for it anyway despite all fears.

The next time you write or read about a new character try to find their flaw. How does it make them interesting to you?

As for real life, do a flaw check with yourself and you just might unlock your dreams.

Have a great week! Good luck to all the Nanos.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The introvert in me sure didn't want to step out, but I did. Still don't like to be in the limelight.
A flaw check would be scary as I know there are many...

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

This kind of examination of characters is precisely why I love The Walking Dead so much. It puts under a microscope how the choices we make to be moral (for example) or to be kind (another example) all have a cost. It makes me wonder if character flaws are just decisions made wherein the decision-maker chooses the path that costs them the least.

Pat Dilloway said...

My main flaw is I have too many flaws.

Leandra Wallace said...

Anger is my main character's flaw right now. Which has been interesting to write, b/c I don't believe I'm much of an angry person. :0)

Stephanie Faris said...

People are so much messier than fictional characters, aren't they? I was taught the GMC method back in the 90s (Goal, Motivation, and Conflict) and that's how I still do things. There has to be both an external and internal GMC...right now I have one chapter of a great idea but I'm having a hard time working out the internal and external GMC.