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  • Writer's pictureWendiFournier

Why Flawed Characters Are Important in Fiction Writing

Have you ever met a person who had it all together? Knew how to act, what to say, and when to say it in every situation? Was utterly perfect? Me neither. Which is why it is important to create flawed characters in fiction writing.

A well-developed character is someone with inner and outer conflict, weaknesses, and indecisive about their choices. They question their capabilities and have self-doubt because that makes them loveable, relatable, and full of depth. They have issues – big time. That is, my fellow writers, what makes them human.

Flawed characters will face difficult struggles that raise the stakes and create a more compelling story. Through conflict and tension, the struggles they encounter give readers a reason to connect and empathize with them. They are the ones readers will cheer for when they overcome hurdles despite their flaws. In the end they are the ones your readers will fall head over heels in love with.

Think about Peter Pan. He’s the young boy who never grew up and gets to spend his time flying around with fairies and playing with mermaids. But his is also terribly flawed. He’s a bit snobby, extremely forgetful, and fails to consider the dangerous situations he puts the Lost Boys in. But he is raw and real and makes us smile. He reminds us what it’s like to be a child.

Or consider the emotionally charged Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries. He’s beautiful and electric and strikingly strong. But Damon is also conflicted, damaged, and his own worst enemy. He reacts first and then considers the consequences later. He lashes out and is afraid of getting hurt to the point of pushing those who love him away. And, oh, how we are putty in his hands, because despite being a vampire, he hits every emotion in our body at some point. Raw. Real. Relatable.

Don’t be afraid to dig deep. To draw upon your own life struggles and what makes us humans, well, human. We need to read about flawed characters. They help us deal with our shortcomings and remind us that it is okay to fail as long as we get back on our feet and give it a go again.

Now, strap on that seat belt and grip that wheel. It’s time to #CreateYourEpic.

Xo Wendi

1 Comment

Kyrie Wang
Kyrie Wang
Feb 29

Absolutely agree. I love flawed characters and character arcs!

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