Few things are worse for your book than making a character perfect. We don’t mean perfect for the story. That’s a good thing. We mean perfect as in always positive and has no flaws. There is a common misperception in the writing world that only positive, upbeat, and “perfect” characters can be likeable. Readers will reject all others as lesser characters. However, the opposite is true.
We’ve talked at length on this podcast about needing to have characters with realistic flaws. Those are the ones the readers can relate with, connect to, and root for. Most of us are drawn to the characters who struggle, who have to fight each step of the way, because that’s often how we feel in our lives. We want to see fictional characters make it through challenges much larger than ours to show us we can make it too. That message isn’t conveyed if it wasn’t a challenge.
Listen for more about creating how creating a “perfect” character can harm your story.
First aired November 21, 2022.