Why Readers Love Flawed Characters

Why Readers Love Flawed Characters

Today I’ve got a post that I probably started a few times over. I struggled with it, because I’m having a hard time writing anything and I’m having a hard time shaking off the doubt monster but today I’m back with a post about why readers love flawed characters, but to get there first I needed to talk about a few things involving writing. So hopefully you enjoy it.

Writing is an immensely personal thing, everyone who is a writer understands that, but the writers without a thick skin tend to get left behind. They tend to take any sort of feedback and get defensive and take it as an attack instead of taking it as something that is constructive, as something that they can use to work on their writing and better it.

That’s what separates those who can hack it and those that can’t.

Some writer’s don’t understand how they can make things different, how they can mould their lives and the lives of their characters. They aren’t the ones writing the story, they’re merely the ones who are facilitating the story.

The same goes for our own stories, we’re the vessels for what is happening. We need to stop doubting ourselves and doubting our skills. Each one of us have more than enough inside us to get the words on the paper, to make a difference. For here on I’m done with doubt. I’m done with wondering why I’m not good enough or why things don’t make sense.

I am enough, you’re enough, that person next to you, they’re enough too. We have unique voice and different way of telling our story, our character’s stories, we need to embrace that and use it to our advantage.

As human beings we are flawed, so why shouldn’t our characters be? If you can honestly say that you’re not flawed then I think you’re looking at the wrong mirror. Characters need to be flawed to help your readers relate to them. Are they irrational and wilful and it gets them into trouble? No? Well why not? Don’t make them cautious and careful. No one wants to read about that. I sure as hell know that I don’t want to read about a character like that. It’s boring, and I know that you don’t want to keep your reader from putting your book away or clicking away from your blog post.

It’s true, most of us a curious when it comes to what it happening in life and most of the time we like to read about the things that are happening in the lives of others. We don’t want to hear about how your life is all great (although it’s great if life is going really splendidly for you!) we want to know about how you got there in the first place. It’s why we sit down to read a book from the beginning and read it all the way through and not stop until we get to the end.

The messier the story, the more we get out of it. I know that when I read books I love to read about characters who are going through issues that can’t be fixed in a couple of pages, I also really love characters that change through out the book, they learn things and they grow. Sometimes in series you tend to miss this if there is a long wait between books but when you re-read them and sit down and look at them on a whole then they change drastically and it all makes sense.

One of my favourite series to look at characterisation is Rachel Vincent’s Shifter Series. Faythe is an unruly woman who wants freedom and ran away from her destiny because she didn’t understand what it really meant and over the books you watch (or read) the way that she changes. She softens up to her destiny and in the end realises that every bit of rebellion she made happen meant that she cost her family something and while that had been good for her, not so good for them. But she makes up for that and becomes a leader her family would be proud of.

Readers strive for something they can latch onto, so give them something to sink their hooks into. Characters that are flawed are ones that make it the tests of time.

Tell me about your favourite character that you’ve read about and can’t stop thinking about, or better yet, tell me about your favourite character in your life, or maybe tell me about an aspect of yourself. Click the comments section and leave it there.

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Mandi is a writer, reader, dreamer and is breaking procrastinating inner editors, one at a time.

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