Enjoy this great piece by Nate Winchester, readers:
Flawed Characters – Part 1 (incomplete)
Sometimes I think this stuff must be obvious.
But then I watch some TV show or movie…
I’ll admit that writers can be a bit too in love with our own cleverness. We certainly love to construct a sentence with more than one layer of meaning to it. However that’s not very useful when it comes to instructions.
“Your characters should be flawed” is writing advice anybody who likes to write has probably heard before, but does anybody really get it? Especially because there’s actually a double meaning to the advice. So today I’m going to break down one of those meanings (with the other one tomorrow).
“Write a flawed character” seems to be interpreted as a character who is a bad person. So we get stories where the protagonists are jerks or assholes.
But that’s not what the advice is saying. Let’s make up a quick tale:
Bob was hungry.
So Bob went to the kitchen and made a sandwich.
He ate it.
There, a story in the most basic, technical sense. It’s not great or good by any stretch of the imagination.