The older, and perhaps more cynical I get, the more I want my hero to have flaws. I'm reading a book right now (out of this genre) in which the main character is always right, and always performs flawlessly, and he lets everyone else around him know this. I think it comes across as obnoxious, but I think the writer just wants him to sound confident. I'm just waiting for this guy to take a fall, but I don't think he's going to.
This opinion has found its way into my writing. All of my main characters have flaws, be them physical, mental, etc. I think this makes them more realistic- even the most powerful mage is more understandable if he has a drinking problem.
Just wondering your collective thoughts on this?
August 29th, 2003, 09:26 PM
If you're writing comic sf... it is compulsory to have many many deeply flawed characters.
In other sf... where do you develop character if they are not flawed or raw and naive?
August 30th, 2003, 03:16 AM
Flawless characters that always make the right decissions are certainly boring. But, also, characters with too many flaws to be believed become a comic figures.
So, I'd suggest balance here, as in everything in writing.
I'm usually writing about people who are more or less normal, but don't always make the right decisions. Of course, all this "normal" people have their psychological problems, aims, or unfullfiled desires. But I usually don't write about characters with heavy flaws (either somatic or psychological).
August 30th, 2003, 04:54 AM
I agree with Bardos in many ways, characters have to be "normal" but normal for the world you are creating, that might not be "normal" for this one.
But you need enough to hook the reader with traits they can see and know from their own real life. Flaws are good, take Dakar, the mad prophet in Janny Wurt's light and shadow series, he is a fat drunkard with problems, but he is a character you can latch onto.
Every one has their "ghosts" use them, create them.
September 1st, 2003, 04:19 AM
Everyone has their problems, the world has its problems, so a character needs them as well. If you have a completely flawless character in a story they come off dull. To make them andd whatever world they live in feel real they have got to be as messed up as the rest of us.
September 5th, 2003, 04:36 AM
I agree that flaws are curcial and I personally enjoy writing evil/somewhat crazy characters.
For example- The main character of the story I've posted (http://www.sffworld.com/authors/a/avihail_hm/fiction/gatheringofpower1.html - read it and review it here http://www.sffworld.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6122 Pleassssssssse!)
has a rough past and a physical flaw. I think reading of a physical flaw makes the reader curious to know of how he got those flaws and a rough past can make the reader understand the hero's actions better.
The only problem is that I"m not sure I write flaws very well that's why I'd be really glad to hear your opinion of my story.
Thanks in advance
September 5th, 2003, 08:20 PM
All of my characters are very flawed and very human. I absolutely *HATE* perfect characters that never do anything wrong, they make me want to take a pickaxe to their heads.
If your characters aren't believable, why write about them? No one is perfect, no characters should be.