Everyone has heard of a hero with flaws. In fact, most hero’s are kind of boring without them. Whether it’s Achilles’ heel, Harry Potter’s impatience, or Bilbo’s need for cleanliness, every hero has something they struggle against–or is their undoing–in their tale.
But what about normal everyday stuff? What about the little things–pet peeves–that drive someone crazy. It seems like side character’s have them all the time–as quirks. So what are our writers so afraid of? What happens if they say their hunky lead doesn’t like hot weather? Or their pretty princess hates people who chew their nails? Or a young teen who doesn’t like stuffed animals or the smell of perfume or pigtails on adults. Are author’s so afraid of offending their readers that they won’t like the character anymore? That they’ll come across as prejudiced or politically incorrect?
Real people have all sorts of thoughts and feelings about things that bother them. Some have them forever, some have viewpoints that change.
Regardless, they are what make us human. They make us real.
So I say, let’s make more characters that aren’t flawed only because of some great thing they must overcome to save the day. Have them think peanut butter and jelly taste horrible together. Or that cats and dogs shouldn’t live in the same house.
Or that they don’t like olives. 🙂
PS-Coming soon–some very exciting writing news by the end of this month! I’m so excited. Stay tuned!!! –Christa
I know someone who loved olives, but hated an olive story! The hero’s flaw was telling them!!
Oz V– Thats hilarious! Lol
i believe it’s the little things that make the world go ’round, that if you take care of the little things, the big things will take care of themselves, and that the little things are what keep life from being boring on a day to day basis. so, absolutely, christa, i agree that the little things are what make a character continually interesting, unpredictable, and relatable. unfortunately, not all readers want to be able to relate. rather, they want to escape. completely. hence, we have the popularity of romance novels with heaving bosoms pressed against impeccable pecs, and killer/thrillers with ruggedly good-looking detectives who always get the girl and solve the case. personally, i’ll take flaws. those are the books i keep and re-read. the rest are throwaways.
Thank you for your thoughts, Mom! I agree that characters with realistic flaws are more relatable, but yes, escapism is also a valid type of written book. I’m happy to say that there is enough room for both, though I wouldn’t mind seeing more of the former. Hopefully my books will tip the scales a little bit to that side! 🙂