On February 4th, Kasie and Rex continued their conversation on character flaws. Here are the show notes:
Character Flaws continued
Update on SlaughterShark and Being Blue
Character Flaws revisited
How to write a good flaws character
We’re building off this link from Writers Write on Character Flaws.
So what are actual flaws?
These are limitations or weaknesses that the character might not even see in himself. They should be specifically related to the main conflict the character is having. And if you haven’t worked this out, it may be an accident that you’ve created it. (link)
Three types: minor, major, and fatal.
- Minor flaws – what you would expect, impediment, a challenge, but mostly inconvenient
- Major flaws – preventing them from moving forward, preventing them for achieving their goals
- Fatal flaws – leads to a characters death; pride, stubbornness
This blog gives us a list AND how to create the character using them. So that’s cool.
- Tie the flaw to the character’s backstory or exposition
- Match the flaw to the character’s personality – if they’re vain, make them always aware of mirrors, if they’re distrustful, make them question everything
- If the flaw is a behavior, be clear about what it looks like, sounds like, and results in
- If the flaw is emotional, be clear about how it manifests – in language, decisions, or activities.
What is the impact of these flaws on the story? Again, this might be accidental. You might be writing and stuff is happening and then you’re like, “Yikes! That sucks!” because a character did or said something that changed the trajectory of a conversation or scene.