1. Thanks for making an important point, Kathy. You got me thinking about one of my protagonist’s character flaws, stubbornness. That flaw leads him to keep on trying to do the right thing even as the danger to him increases. Is that enough of a character flaw to propel the story forward? Is there a dark side to stubbornness?

    He also has a strong sense of right and wrong, and above all, sees his actions as repaying a debt to a mother-figure mentor who turned his life around when he was a teen by turning him away from a delinquent lifestyle that could have resulted in prison or death for him.

  2. Hi Chris,
    Absolutely, stubbornness works if you keep consistent with it. Stubbornness has it’s own dark side and can lead to decisions based on wrong thinking (and those decisions can be disastrous for the character in the story line which gives him lots to learn and the reader can see him reap the rewards when he realizes and can move beyond his flaw.) I’m also compelled to think of the good side of stubbornness–which is resolve–especially in light of his strong sense of right and wrong. That will cause your reader to forge an emotional attachment to your character.

  3. […] Watch out for characters the reader won’t care about or won’t want to follow through an entire book. Does a character have to be perfectly nice, moral, courageous and all that? Nope. Characters can have flaws (in fact they should) even be borderline unlikeable, but your reader can still care for them, warts and all. Lisbeth Salander from Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Katniss from The Hunger Games, Minnie from The Help, Odd Thomas from Odd Thomas—none of these characters are perfect. That’s why we love ‘em. (For ideas on how to make your readers connect to your character, read The “It” Factor for Your Protagonist or Character Flaw: Make it Count.) […]

  4. […] When you are developing your characters, be sure to give them flaws that will push their buttons, then push them! Build the flaw from your character’s fears and desires and make it so important, if it were to be pulled out of your character, there would be no story. (see an entire article on this here: Character Flaw: Make it Count). […]

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