Welcome to Jan Romes, a fellow Wild Rose Press author. Jan has written a fantastic post for us today, but if you're like me you might not know Jan very well. Here's a litttle about her.
Challenge Me With Your Flaws
We’re amazing creatures! Our looks, movements, speech patterns, the way we respond, and our taste in clothes, food, music, and mates are unique. We have incredible traits and talents that set us apart from one another. Something else makes us distinctive – our flaws. We all have them. They make us human, keep us humble, and make life…interesting. Yeah. Let’s say interesting (actually, challenging would best describe most of us).
What a dull, dull world it would be without those interesting/challenging flaws!
When writing a novel, we want our heroes to be well-built Adonis’s who kiss like heaven, who do and say all the right things, and make all the rights choices. And of course, same goes for our heroines. They have to be gorgeous, with bodies that make men weep, and intellects that can set the world on fire. <insert the sound of screeching brakes here> Whoa! It’s easy to fall prey to the fantasy of perfect. First of all, no such hero or heroine exists – in real life or books. Which means, our job is to create a different kind of perfect – a flawed hero and heroine, who would be perfect for each other.
Part of the fun of writing is picking out the flaws that will bring our characters to the brink of insanity, without them actually falling over the edge. It’s what will drive the story, tighten the plot, and make our characters three-dimensional.
Think of the heroes and heroines that you’ve written or read lately. What flaws made them a challenge? Were they selfish? Short-tempered or too passive? We’re they overly critical? Did they panic in tough situations? Did their flaws affect the outcome of their goal?
Flaws are not limited to personality imperfections. Most of us have some sort of physical defect too. Big feet. One eye color different than the other. Too long of a nose. Tiny ears. Wide forehead. Crooked teeth. Perhaps missing part of a finger or leg. The list is endless. Don’t shy away from those types of flaws.
Personally, I love characters with phobias. Fear of spiders, heights, flying, etc. Those kinds of fears can be used to add thrill, mystery, humor, compassion, or whatever your story needs. Here’s a link for all kinds of phobias – http://phobialist.com/
I think we have to be careful with the flaws though. You don’t want to choose one that will make your characters whiney or weak. It will annoy your readers and make a great plot fall flat.
In my novel ONE SMALL FIB, Kiptyn Thomas, III, is a demanding billionaire with a bit of OCD. Allie Blue is a flight attendant with low tolerance for people who think they are at the top of the food chain. She tells it like it is. I had fun creating those two characters. Their flaws created a boat load of conflict (actually, a plane load). Their flaws made them work hard for their happily ever after.
Have a blast writing your books and make real life characters come alive in your fiction!
Allie Blue's dream of buying the old Smithington mansion and turning it into a bed and breakfast is stomped by a mystery real estate developer with a fancy pen and loaded checkbook. With no bed and breakfast, Allie resorts to one small fib which lands her a flight attendant's job and the task of pampering Upward Airlines' most demanding frequent flyer -- Kiptyn Thomas, III. Something raw and potent snaps between them, but Allie fights the attraction for the guy who thinks he's at the top of the food chain. Kiptyn Thomas is used to getting what he wants, when he wants it. Allie Blue both annoys and intrigues him. Will some well-intentioned fibs, a deep dark secret, and similar personalities draw them together or keep them apart?
Jan can be contacted at:
Twitter - https://twitter.com/JanRomes
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/jan.romes.5
Website - http://www.janromes.com/
Thank you for coming today, Jan, and for sharing your views on those character flaws and how to make them really work! Best wishes with your novel - One Small Fib.