Writings About Writing – Those We Love, Part Two

So, what is it that makes those characters so lovable and huggable? Really?

The truth is, I don’t know.

Let’s just get one thing out of the way. For one thing, I am not an expert. For another, I don’t think I’ve created a single character ever that stuck in people’s heads and was just… amazing. So most of this is conjecture, thinking onto a screen, and… ramblings. So, be forewarned, and don’t sue me if this doesn’t make your characters any better. That said, on with it.

I asked several questions in Part One, and I’m going to be building a little bit off of that, and some other random thoughts.

Today’s question is… Why not perfect?

See, most of the characters that we love are flawed. Some in small ways, and some in much, much bigger ways. Why can’t your characters just be perfect?

Because there’s only one perfect Person, and His story is so awesome that no other perfect person could beat it.

Well, that and the fact that nobody (but Jesus) is perfect. We always seem to dislike “goody-two-shoes” in real life, so of course we’ll dislike the perfect people in stories. That’s because we don’t identify with their perfection. We have flaws, so we expect the characters to have flaws.

We look for ourselves in characters to identify with them. That’s why we like characters that are flawed and remind us of ourselves.

So, make ’em imperfect. Give them problems. Insecurities. Hatred. Secrets. Sin.

Do you like perfect characters? Are there any exceptions to this? Do you have trouble flawing your characters? What are your favorite characters’ flaws, both in your writing and others’?

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12 thoughts on “Writings About Writing – Those We Love, Part Two

  1. When I write about nice people, I like when my male characters are perfect gentlemen, but I usually give them a “flaw” such as they would rather watch sports than chick flicks with their wives. 🙂

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  2. Well, I don’t mind perfect characters so long as they have to struggle with remaining perfect. Frodo was perfect…until Mount Doom. I think for the most part he qualifies as perfect.
    And, ahem, you forgot that God made the Blessed Mother perfect 🙂
    Aul

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  3. Pingback: Writings About Writing – Those We Love, Part Three | The World Of The Writer

  4. *hugs Obi-Wan, who looks concerned and a little freaked out* *as soon as I let go, he gently pushes me to one side as I beam at everyone*
    Why is it that most fans start out by crushing on their favorite character? Well, not that I did, but frankly, if there are Obi-Wan fans out there who don’t share a lot of attributes with the character then they inevitably have a crush on him. I find it slightly disturbing, but that’s because he could probably be my fictional alter ego. I mean, my personality is similar. (Quite frankly, I’m nowhere near that awesome. 😛 )

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      • They’re real in our heads. ;-P But yes, I get where you’re coming from. I don’t think I’m in love with any fictional characters… that is, not in the marrying sense 😛 But, I do have whole conversations with fictional people inside my head. ;-P

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        • Heh, I’ve had to give Obi-Wan a sort of slap upside the head a couple of times. He tends to blame himself for things that aren’t his fault. 😛 Also, I slapped Winter for overthinking his real motivations for taking Tairya’s kid away from her while I was trying to sleep, and I think I slapped Iris once because she was being annoying (she slapped me back), and I slapped someone else (I THINK it was Klis) for fangirling my lovely Rowan… As if he didn’t have enough to do, simply trying to save the Three Kingdoms!

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