Tag: Angela Ackerman

WRITERS HELPING WRITERS® -> How Your Hero’s Past Pain Will Determine His Character Flaws ~

By Angela Ackerman
Authentic characters are usually modeled after real people. I don’t mean pulling traits and quirks from those we know (say, taking Aunt Judy’s laughter and blending it with the overly-smiley bus driver who takes us to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays). Rather, I’m talking about mirroring the human experience in the fictional world, giving readers a character who has desires they can relate to, and who struggles, fails or succeeds all in turn.

happinessHuman experience is also about the push for self-discovery, finding meaning, and achieving worthy goals. Just like real people do, our characters should seek to improve themselves in some way—at work, in personal relationships, spiritually, or through self-growth.

In fiction, the road to what one desires is never easy. Authors want to create a window into this internal life struggle that we all know so well. To do so, we write characters who have flaws–negative qualities that surface at the worst of times, sabotaging their efforts, blocking them from gaining what they want both on a conscious and subconscious level. It’s ironic, really; who they are and what they want are often at odds, making it difficult for them to achieve success.

As you can imagine, choosing the right flaws for a character is really important as they will directly affect character arc and how the story plays out for readers. So let’s look at why flaws become part of who someone is, and where they come from.

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How Your Hero’s Past Pain Will Determine His Character Flaws ~ WRITERS HELPING WRITERS®

By Angela Ackerman: How To Vividly Describe a Setting That You’ve Never Visited

One of the big decisions writers are faced with is whether to choose a real location for the backdrop of their overall story, or create one of their own imagining. Crafting a world from scratch is a lot of work (requiring a deep understanding of the society, infrastructure, rules, governmental influence, as well as a million other details). But it also avoids a big problem associated with real-world locations: reader bias. This is when the reader’s own emotional ties to a place influence their reading experience.