Thursday, January 23, 2014

Favorite Character Flaws

Today I'm thinking about characters and what makes them interesting. It's pretty obvious that characters with unique personalities and a dynamic voice are the interesting ones. But what also makes them interesting is their flaws.

But here's the thing...character flaws have always been a little illusive for me. I can never quite put my finger on what they are. Unless, of course, they are very obvious, like anger in Heathcliff... or pride in Darcy and Elizabeth. I know I know, flaws should stand out, but I'm always focusing on other things usually. It's weird. Like what, for instance, is Harry's flaw? I have no idea.

Anyway so I looked up "flaws" and found this list of fun ones. Some of my favorites are:

  • can't keep a secret
  • hold everything in
  • don't look at me!
  • too snarky
  • fear of thunder
  • forgets to eat
  • talks to much
  • smothers with love
Ah.. and the list goes on and on. 

So I was wondering what character flaws do you notice and like to see show up in your favorites. And which ones do you hate and roll your eyes at and think are way overdone? Which ones are good in heroes and great in villains? 

Tell me about some of your favorite characters and what their flaws are! 


  1. I usually like characters who start out selfish and, through story events, learn to think more of others than themselves. I think it's a very realistic flaw. The only problem is selfish characters are generally not LIKABLE characters, so sometimes they're a hard sell.

  2. I can't stand characters that are just too clueless!

    Tanya Patrice

  3. I like when characters are clumsy. I hate when they fidget to eat. I always feel like the author is trying to show that the mc is thin. It just makes me roll my eyes.

  4. I like unreliable characters. They make the story more interesting.

  5. I like realistic characters that are relatable. So, characters with specific fears that many of the rest of us have, and then they overcome them or at least face them and get stronger as the events of the book unfold.

    Great topic :)

  6. I have a hard time connecting to characters who are too selfish or emotionally distant. But I agree with the poster who said that characters who become less selfish over the course of a book can be very compelling. And I hugely agree that unreliable narrators can make for some great plot twists!

  7. I personally despise a character that whines. I do like a character that seems to think they never quite measure up to what is expected.

  8. I find passive-aggressive characters to be really interesting - you never know what's going on with them. Don't necessarily like them but they are interesting!

  9. Flaws are what I think makes a character real, really bringing them to life! I think Harry's flaw is a hero complex. This might not be the right term, but he really wants to make sure that his friends and the innocent are safe, and he feels he needs to save them. I could go all psychology on you here, but I will save you the boring rant!! :)

    I think one of my most recent flaws I can think of is Gansey from The Raven Boys. I can't put my finger on what exactly the flaw is, but he is so intriguing because of it!



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