April 15, 2013 by Nichole Eck
There are several reasons to write characters with substantial, heartbreaking flaws. I’ll discuss a few more in another post soon, but I think one reason is worth highlighting especially.
Massive, flawed characters are mirrors that move readers.
I love the phrase “massive characters.” Massive as in substantial, possibly dense, large enough to influence and change their surroundings with a gravity-like pull.
Flawed characters have the ability to really connect with readers and move them.
We all know what perfection is. We are spoon-fed it through the media every day of our lives. And we all know that we do not match up to perfection, that we are cracked and mortared together with weaknesses, failings, sins, ways in which we fall short.
Trust me, we know.
So we don’t want to read about flawless characters whose lives are great, who are capable and confident all the time, whose pasts are shiningly pure.
We don’t care about them. Watching perfect people live perfect lives does not help us live our own human ones.
We want to read about characters who are broken in the same way we are, who are hurting in the same way we are.
And we want to know that they managed to pull through and become all the better for it.
Because then so can we.