What I'm Up To

Giving a Character Flaws

I’ve really been struggling with one of the characters in my book. He’s a very important character in the long run, for the story, but he was boring me to tears. I realized it was because he was too perfect. I hadn’t given him any flaws, anything that defined him as a real person. So my goal for today was to develop his backstory and figure out just who this guy was and what made him tick. I think I came up with it!

Most of his story won’t make it into the current book, but knowing this about him will help me make him a more interesting character. I wrote a story about the beginning of his friendship with another character and the loss that made him who he was. Perhaps that story will be revealed in a future book or just be a short I release at some point, but now that I know him better, I can write about him in a way that makes him much more interesting.

It was hard, though, to admit that there was something fatally flawed about his lack of flaws. Once I figured that out, I struggled for the last week to figure out how to fix that. I felt my creativity had abandoned me when I needed it the most, but today, I woke up feeling it renewed and decided I was just going to get this done.

So what I did is I stood up and started pacing. I yelled at myself and just kept working out details OUT LOUD until I got it done. I’m sure some folks out there would think I’d need to be committed if they’d seen me, but thinking out loud is an important part of my creative process. It helps make my thoughts more focused and real.

And I feel really great about it! I can’t reveal too much about what I’ve written, but it’s sooooo good! And now this character is definitely one of my favorites.