Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Should your hero be flawed?

Is your hero a man? Then duh! He is flawed.

It is fun to fantasize about ‘Mr. Perfect’, but when reality meets fantasy let’s face it, perfection is a pain in the butt.

As women we come pretty dang close to perfect so we should know. To compete against Mr. Perfect would truly put a crimp in our lives.

So yes, your hero should be flawed.

How is he flawed? Does he have a scar on his cheek or his chest?

No, that’s not a flaw. That just adds interest or character to your otherwise rugged and/or good looking physique.

Is your hero flawed because he drives a non-descript beige sedan instead of a Mercedes convertible, a bright red sports car, or ride up on his black stallion he raised from a colt?

This is not a flaw. It just means your hero has terrible taste in transportation.

What is a flaw?

A character flaw is a limitation, imperfection, perhaps a phobia, or some kind of deficiency in your fictional (and real) character’s personality. A flaw may be a fear of commitment, a jealous temper, arrogance, or a gambling addiction.

Why is a flaw good?

Well, as I stated above who wants to compete with Mr. Perfect. Other than that, the reason for a flaw is that a flaw adds depth to your character, makes the character seem more human and someone the readers can relate to.

Let’s revisit our hero with the scar on his face or chest. Perhaps he is ex-military and while overseas he got into a fight with a man who was physically abusing a woman and saved her from a fate worse than death. The scar is a badge of honor so to speak. But, underneath that badge he is a man who cares for all women and whenever he sees a woman in distress he is compelled to go to her aid.

Now this is not necessarily a bad thing…except he forgets that women can also take care of themselves and has a tendency to step in where he is not wanted. Not a good thing when the heroine is an independent woman who has taken self-defense and can verbally out maneuver any man within fifty feet of her.

At some point this hero has to learn self-discipline and let loose of his over-protective attitude. He’ll have to wait to be asked for his help.

This could prove to be a long and interesting journey for our hero and heroine.


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