RB: Give ‘Em Flaws

*SPOILER ALERT* The Originals, Episode 106: Fruit of the Poisoned Tree

I’ve gotten hooked on the new CW show The Originals. I first saw the character Elijah in The Vampire Diaries. I always thought he was a bit boring and most of the time tweeted or facebooked during his screen time. He was the resident good guy. Dependable. Responsible. Bo-ring. It wasn’t until Episode 106 of The Originals that my entire opinion of him changed and he went from snores-ville to OMG he’s awesome.

The cause: Ripping the hearts out of bad witches

Seriously his appeal in the show, for me, jumped up one hundred percent after that scene. Okay, that probably makes me sound a bit unhinged, but I swear I’m not.

Characters NEED flaws. They need to be real. Their flaws need to fit their personality.

Your good guys can walk old ladies across the street, send flowers to their love after a bad day, or wash the dishes without being asked; but they also need to be imperfect, have phobias, and deficiencies. No human is perfect. I certainly am not. Our characters shouldn’t be either.

So, go ahead. Take the character you lovingly molded from the depths within you and make them a bit bad.

If all else fails have him rip the heart of a bad guy to protect his love. That will certainly get readers to swoon. It worked for me. 🙂  (Really. I’m not unbalanced. I promise.)

Helpful links:


This one is pretty awesome: http://www.springhole.net/writing_roleplaying_randomators/character-flaws.htm


6 thoughts on “RB: Give ‘Em Flaws

  1. You’re so right about this. The characters I love best are flawed (and you’re not crazy for liking a man who can rip out hearts!)…but when I’m writing, I really struggle to give my MCs flaws. It’s something I have to go back to and add later during revisions :-/

    • I definitely struggled with giving my MCs flaws, too, but in the end I found out that I loved them more when I did. Especially when I was crafting them during pre-writing. It made the character and the story more satisfying when I could figure out a way for them to overcome their deficiencies. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 -RB

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