Friday, February 13, 2015

Realistic Characters

What they teach us in school is that, when writing, we have to create realistic characters. They can be fantastical (dragons) and have powers (Gandalf  the Grey), but they have to appear like a human being actually would - with strengths and weaknesses. To develop a character that has no flaws is not something a reader will believe. Nobody is perfect. Not even Mary Poppins. (Humility anyone??)

Still, I like reading about people that have amazing talents and are far braver than I. I love Katniss Everdeen for this. She has flaws in her personality but is flawless with a bow. The chances of a teen never missing a target, no matter how much they practice, is hardly believable. And I'm okay with that. I want to be able to occasionally read about people that are a bit 'larger than life'. It gives me ideals to aspire to. It gives me someone to look up to. It gives the world potential.

Nobody is perfect. That's true. But have a character almost reach perfection in a certain area ... I think the literary world will survive. And thrive. And create incredible tales.

Jenna (Butrenchuk) Greene



Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Our characters have to keep their feet on the ground, but they can be very good at what they do, and inspire as you say.

The contrast of excellence and still learning is where it all begins.

Big Mike said...

I'd add they need to be flawed because all humans have blemishes.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Angelica Hart and Zi said...

The every day of life can be challenging. Soooo, when I read, give me bigger than life, give me the superheroes as well as the superfoes with just a tiny dash of imperfection to make it interesting.