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’?