Wannabe Writers - Character Flaws

Wannabe Writers and 50k in 50 Days are the brainchild of Sarah at Confessions of the Unpublished.  Wannabe Writers is a writing group for the un-published and anyone is welcome to join. It's a place where future authors can ask questions, share stories, and get feedback. Click (here) to find more about how it works.

Where I am in the writing process:  Still working on the first draft of WIP3  Eyes in the Ashes.  WIP1 Floating on the Surface is waiting in the wings and being entirely rewritten. WIP2 Winter's Illusion is waiting patiently for editing. 

My current problem(s):  Since 50k in 50 days started on July 12, I've written about 14 pages on WIP3 which amounts to probably 500 words per page so a total of 7000 words.  We'll see what it really adds up to when I get it typed up.  I'm not fretting about writing 1000 word per day as long as I'm writing and feel like the story is moving along.  I've discovered something interesting though.   J.Kaye at 365 days of Novel Writing was just talking about her WIP and seeing the story through the eyes of the primary character, which in turn helps you know your character intimately.   I realized with WIP3  I'm gotten into Layla's head, my secondary character  and and am more in tune with her than I am with Izzy, my main heroine.  Probably why I'm enjoying writing Layla's scenes much more than Izzy's.  I need to get more into Izzy's head and figure her out.   Plus I'm trying to figure out how to nab the bad guys.  They've been turning on each other - lots of infighting and the good guy, who turned out to be a bad guy, may just be a bad guy in disguise. 

And I think I've been watching too many Mythbusters episodes, because the thought keeps popping in my head:   is this plausible?    Which is part of my other problem. I started reading my WIP2 the other day and realize I need a new beginning chapter because the start is just a bit boring.  Needs some oomph.  Which in turn got my internal editor going whom I had locked up tight in a box while working on WIP3.   And my muse is tapping her foot, restlessly waiting for me to start another story. She keeps giving me peeks of a new story idea that I want to play with. 

Sarah's question of the week: Character Flaws. Okay, I know I need those to make my characters realistic, but I also know the flaws shouldn't make the reader hate your character. So what are some good, hero-worthy, none-hateable, character flaws?  

Interesting question.  So far, my characters have revealed their flaws as I've written the story. When researching and creating characters I didn't set out to design them with a given flaw.  It would have stifled the story.  Flaws that have shone up in my characters - pride, fear of something, having a hard time with criticism, being argumentative or too closed mouth or in the case of one of my villains - arrogance.  The goal is to make flaws realistic and not so over the top that the reader gets thrown out of the story with disgust or laughter at something ridiculous. 

What character flaws have you seen in stories that are just over the top?


  1. Do you handwrite everything first? I used to do that, and sometimes I still do if I'm blocked on the computer, but since I moved from short stories to novels I've found I do more typing than writing by hand.

  2. My characters flaws are developed along the way as well. It's the best way to make them flow naturally.

    My main character will grow to be bitter, I think.

  3. Amanda - I do hand write everything first. I discovered it all flows better that way.

    J.L. - a bitter main character. Hmm! Sounds intriguing.

  4. LOL @ Mythbusters! My boys love that show.

    For the first draft, I can really only get inside one character's head. No doubt this has to do with my lack of experience. In time, I might be more flexible.

    Now that I've been working on the second draft of SI #1 for the last couple of days, it's easier to jump from one character to another. My first thought of why is it's easier because I have the core of the plot written. Now it's time for me to focus on the characters.

    Well, that's my take on it for now...might change my opinion later...lol.


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