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Old August 5th, 2008, 12:58 PM
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I am in production/revision of "Tear of Life" and I need some help coming up with a flaw for my three main characters, plus an idea I need help deciding upon using or not.

I learned from a writing class that characters must have flaws, so they have something to overcome - inwardly. This is probably obvious to quite a few of you based on the "Gary Stu"-ness of a non-flawed person. But there is a twist to this. Garrett is the only one who goes on the journey in the story. So Are flaws important in the other three? I don't think so, but I would like opinions

If you think so look at these:

For my first two characters - I came up with a flaw for Annabelle - her anger. Despite her anger she is a typically kind woman.

Tobias is clumsy. He is just a typical helpful man who loves his wife(Annabelle).

Risa is Garrett's friend. She is a sweet, friendly and attractive girl. I haven't come up with any flaws for her either.

Here is the main character
:
Garrett(hero) is their son, and he doesn't really have any problems either. He is a typical, good looking good, with luck. I was thinking of maybe making him clumsy. Of course, clumsy and lucky seem like opposites. Dumb doesn't fit because of the role he has to play.


Now the thing I was wondering about was if I should give Garrett a rival. He already has enough trouble with the task at hand, but most stories have one. I didn't want to spoil it, but Garrett and Risa are romantically involved, and the rival would be fighting for Risa's love, or something to that affect. Just making a love triangle to increase the drama, etc.

Any comments or tips are greatly appreciated.
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Last edited by Blue Angel; August 5th, 2008 at 04:31 PM.
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Old August 5th, 2008, 01:13 PM
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I really don't like the idea of just slapping flaws onto one's characters; it just seems so... artificial, I guess.

Just look at the nature of your character and see what the downsides of such a nature might be. A kind, caring individual might be a little naive and prone to help even people she shouldn't. A calm, levelheaded person might be so much so that they seem cold and emotionless to others. An enthusiastic character might be a little prone to acting without a lot of thought beforehand. Not actual specific weaknesses or flaws, but simply parts of their character that make them seem a little more normal.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, it's not a matter of giving them flaws, it's just a matter of keeping them from looking 'perfect'.

As for the rival, I don't see them as being necessary. If you want to add one, great; if not, that's fine, too.
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Old August 5th, 2008, 03:31 PM
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I really don't like the idea of just slapping flaws onto one's characters; it just seems so... artificial, I guess.
That is basically what I thought before I took the class.

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Originally Posted by BladedScizor View Post
Just look at the nature of your character and see what the downsides of such a nature might be. A kind, caring individual might be a little naive and prone to help even people she shouldn't. A calm, levelheaded person might be so much so that they seem cold and emotionless to others. An enthusiastic character might be a little prone to acting without a lot of thought beforehand. Not actual specific weaknesses or flaws, but simply parts of their character that make them seem a little more normal.
Thanks, That is a much, much better way to look at flaws. A lot easier for me to figure out.

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I guess what I'm trying to say is, it's not a matter of giving them flaws, it's just a matter of keeping them from looking 'perfect'.
Exactly. I don't want a Gary Stu.

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Originally Posted by BladedScizor View Post
As for the rival, I don't see them as being necessary. If you want to add one, great; if not, that's fine, too.
In one of Thesis's threads about writing, she mentioned the use of rivals. That what was what kind of what made me feel like I should have one. It would raise the suspension and drama/action, but I'd have to make up a new character.
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Old August 5th, 2008, 04:19 PM
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If Annabelle's flaw is her anger, then you could use that for Tobias' flaw...

You say that Tobias loves his wife... so, maybe he loves her so much that he doesn't want to let her know she has an anger problem. His flaw could be that he is TO nice and caring.

Risa is a little more difficult though, but you said that it's only Garrett whose going on the adventure. So maybe Risa's flaw i that she gets too attached. At first she doesn't want Garrett to go, but then she finds comfort in a new friend.
Then they become more than just friends and when Garrett is on his journey he realises he is in love with Risa, then when he returns home it becomes one big crazy romance mess... or something.
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Old August 5th, 2008, 04:29 PM
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If Annabelle's flaw is her anger, then you could use that for Tobias' flaw...

You say that Tobias loves his wife... so, maybe he loves her so much that he doesn't want to let her know she has an anger problem. His flaw could be that he is TOO nice and caring.

Risa is a little more difficult though, but you said that it's only Garrett whose going on the adventure. So maybe Risa's flaw i that she gets too attached. At first she doesn't want Garrett to go, but then she finds comfort in a new friend.
Then they become more than just friends and when Garrett is on his journey he realizes he is in love with Risa, then when he returns home it becomes one big crazy romance mess... or something.
I didn't want to spoil it, but Garrett and Risa are romantically involved, and the rival would be fighting for Risa's love. I don't know if she needs a flaw, technically you only see her for a few chapters. The only problem is this story is so long, it starts with Garrett's parents and how they meant, then jumps to the point where Garrett "exists" kind of - can't spoil), then kind of goes through his childhood and teen years, then goes through his love of Risa, then goes on his journey, then faces Team Galatic and that is it. Plus with the revision there is a plot addition to the beginning area.

I feel like it should be like a "Parent's Meeting and etc." one-shot, plus a story of Garrett's early life - and if that is too short, add his journey. Who knows?

It was strange, because I wrote five chapters and in those he isn't even born yet.

It's a mess :p


I think I'll make Tobias's flaw his clumsiness(fits pretty well).

Garrett could inherit that flaw from his father, but like I said before, luck and clusmy don't fit (and luck is almost a must).
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