Do you have any advice on making flawed characters? Do you think any of the MCs from the snarked books are flawed & why?

readingwithavengeance:

I think all the MCs from the books I’ve done are flawed.

I rarely see a character in a book that isn’t flawed.  Most writes seem to have a good handle on that.  Everyone except the most adorable of newbie fanfiction writers understands that perfect characters aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.  The trick, instead, is to make sure you’ve got the right write the flaws as having consequences.  Too often I’ll see books where the MC has a glaring flaw that I think the author didn’t mean to include, because careless writing turned them accidentally racist or selfish or spineless.  And too often I’ll see characters who have flaws, and their flaws are front-and-center…and those flaws have no meaning.  You’ll end up with a rude, snarky character…who has everyone loving her anyway.  You’ll up with an impulsive, brash character…who only jumps in when it turns out she was right all along.  Yes, they have flaws, but they never struggle with those flaws, and they never have to deal with the downside of those flaws.

Consequences and struggle are the whole reason people say flawed characters are good.  We want to see them deal with the problems caused by those flaws.  We want to see the characters fall down and get back up again.  Simply including a thing that would be a flaw here in the real world but not having the Big Brass Authorial Genitals to deal with that is meaningless.

Also, it’s important to make sure that people have reactions to your characters flaws that are based on their own personalities.  Get in the head of your secondary characters and look at the MC’s flaws from their view.  If your MC is rude and recalcitrant and uncommunicative, that’s going to piss off even their friends.  Don’t have only the “bad” people getting mad at her.

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