Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 81: Character Flaws

Last night was a #YALITCHAT and I totally stalked it. It was about those voices that, as writers, we all hear in our head. Those little buggers that just won't let you finish washing the dishes so you have to stop and find a notebook and jot down the idea before you forget it and then you end up getting your notebook all wet and wrinkly pages make me bonkers... sorry... got carried away.

Anyway, the chat got me thinking about what I remember most about a good character and I realized something. Very rarely do I remember a character for their good points. I always focus on the flaws. Does this make me a pessimist?

J.K. Rowling is a master at creating flawed characters and then using those flaws to further the story, to make the reader relate to them and cheer them on. Hermione Granger is the first one that comes to mind. What if she hadn't been so bossy and such a know-it-all? Well, those three wouldn't have gotten a damn thing done. Then there's sweet, meek Nevile Longbottom. Would I have literally let out a whoop of joy at the end when he chopped Nagini in two if he hadn't been such a wet blanket for most of the books? That would be a "No way, Jose."

Now I'm reflecting on my own characters. They have flaws but I don't think I made them obvious in the first draft. I realize now that their flaws have to help drive the plot. I'm so glad I realized this here at the very beginning of editing. Thank you #YALITCHAT!

What characters do you remember for their flaws?


  1. I love when I read something that flips the switch and ignites the lightbulb for me too. Thanks for the post!

  2. I was watching #YALITCHAT yesterday too, but your post tied it together for me. Thanks!

  3. You guys are welcome! And Thank ya'll for the comments.



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