Monday, August 31, 2015

Flaw Your Hero

"No man can climb beyond the limitations of his own character." John Morley

When developing a hero in your fiction writing, it's important to make sure he's flawed. As in real life, this character should be imperfect. If he's good looking, smart, compassionate, loves children and animals, has a high paying corporate job and volunteers all his spare time working in orphanages and soup kitchens, your hero is too perfect. In other words, too boring!

Spice up your hero by flawing him with arrogance, or a hot temper. Perhaps he's a recovering alcoholic who struggles daily with his addiction. Maybe he was an abused child, and now carries the psychological scars that prevent him from building a meaningful relationship. Could he have suffered trauma (seeing his family killed), could he have been abandoned as a child, could he have been betrayed by a friend?

The possibilities are endless! Transform your hero from plain turkey on white, to turkey on crusty bread with sharp cheddar, salty anchovies, hot peppers and black olives! (Anybody else hungry for a hero sandwich, or is it just me?)

Want more insight into flawed heroes? Check out this article by Bruce Kirkland, Top 10 Flawed Film Heroes.

Who's your favorite fictional hero and what are his, or her, flaws?


William Kendall said...

Good advice, Maria!

Jennette Marie Powell said...

Perfect characters annoy me. I tend to give mine trust issues, obsessiveness with order, things like that. Makes for some good romantic conflict, plus trouble with time travel!

shelly said...

Creating flaws is through fun part.

Norma said...

Flawed heroes are my specialty. I love creating them AND reading about them and seeing them in movies!