Fatal Flaws

This article isn’t about world building, per se, but it’s still something important to consider when writing your characters. Not only that, but it’s also something to consider when creating a culture and people group. There is no “perfect race”, and even those races that emphasize your personal views should be tempered with flaws, because they’re made of humans.

Saga of Menyoral

From Achilles to Frodo Baggins, all the best literary characters are deeply flawed and truly human, and no matter that they might be hobbits. Today I want to talk about how to bring that to your fiction. By “flawed characters” I mean characters with honest-to-goodness character flaws: things about themselves that hamper them from doing what they need to do.

If you want to build a character who’s flawed in a great, human way, look to his or her strengths first. Maybe you have a confident person in your work. Nobody’s going to deny that confidence is a good thing, but take it all the way out to its extreme and you’ll end up looking at arrogance. This can show up in a number of ways. Maybe the confident character believes that he or she knows best for everyone. Maybe he sticks firmly to the adage, “If you want something…

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