1. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    The flaw in your story...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by sprirj, Aug 25, 2014.

    I'm not talking about a writing flaw in your current project, more the flaw your main characters carry with them day to day (e.g. Monk - the TV series, it is his OCD which was also his greatest strength) or a personal obstacle they have to overcome (e.g. Luke Skywalker, his father is the enemy and he wants to sleep with his sister).

    Its the thing that hinders them, causes chaos/interest.

    My flaw is that the character is tough and ruthless, but completely helpless against the events/world around him.

    Whats your hook?
     
  2. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    One day, everyone forgets that she ever existed. From then on, no one can form long-term memories of her or produce evidence of her existence. She is the only one who remembers the times she and her friends and family spent together. Therefore, she is effectively a stranger to everyone she talks to. She can have conversations with people, but as soon as they leave her presence, they forget the entire conversation and she has to re-introduce herself.

    The focus of the story is that she struggles to find satisfaction in this emotionally unhealthy life while she investigates the cause of the curse and she attempts to free herself from it.

    It is based on a fanfic. The protagonist of the fanfic is a recurring extra in the TV series. I am writing a novel (non-fanfic) about an original character who is subject to the same condition and deals with it in a similar way.

    The fanfic itself is inspired by an X-Men mutant.
     
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  3. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I have no idea - I just try and make them as human as possible. The flaws sorta come naturally then.

    My hook for my current book is a damned doughnut. I'm not sure if that counts as a flaw though.
     
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  4. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    My character has an entirely unsuitable personality for the calling she chose. She is a hedonist, yet decided to take on a role requiring a serious individual. She abandoned that post when it no longer suited her and has been running from it ever since. At some point she has to accept responsibility. She has a somewhat shallow sense of morality, not caring which way the chips fall but feeling resentful all the same that she has a part to play.
     
  5. archerfenris
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    archerfenris Active Member

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    This character isn't it my latest novel but one I just spawned the idea for a week or so ago. His flaw is he's addicted to heroin. I'm still not exactly sure how plausible it is to be a functioning heroin addict but it's a good flaw to a character with a lot of strengths.
     
  6. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    You're gonna have to research. Hard.
     
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  7. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    My story's flaw is that the main character sits in a plane wreck comatose for six months before waking up, which I flawlessly (/sarcasm) explain by saying that there are people keeping him alive in there for some odd reason.
     
  8. yagr
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    yagr Contributing Member

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    Who will want to read a book about Sarah Palin?

    j/k - ;)
     
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  9. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    My novel - an urge to humiliate

    In several short stories I'm working on it's - stubborness, fear, depression.
     
  10. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm, I guess the flaw of my character is that he's an innocent child. o_O

    Everybody he knows manipulate him; father, teacher... He's been manipulated so hard that even a picture of his own creation manipulates him (a bit supernatural, but I like it).
     
  11. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    His flaws. Very over protective of others but won't let people in to help him.
    Her flaws. She makes decisions without thinking things through. She's stubborn. It takes a lot to hurt her but when she falls, she falls far, to the point of it almost killing her.
     
  12. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    My original antagonist (there are a few) who isn't really an antagonist intentionally, is barren, depressed and in a crisis of faith. She loves her charge intensely and the end of her tenure terrifies her.

    My protagonist, uneducated, raised in rag, but elevated to aristocracy and fighting to learn that which she will need to know. Simply put, can she lead when she has never led before? Doesn't matter, because she is stuck doing so now. I'm not thinking things are going to go smoothly, but I haven't gotten there yet.
     
  13. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Lol. My characters are saturated with Flaws. My main MC is homeless, has severe anxiety, depression, and OCD. She's a cutter and has an eating disorder she's not admitting to. She's got the Mother Teresa syndrome and thinks she can, and should, save everyone, even if it's not her place to do so, and makes excuses for her own self abuse and destruction by justifying it as penance for her faults. She rejects anything good in her life to perpetuate her self-delusion of martyrdom. She's just oozing with faults. And she's the good one.
     
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  14. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Read Junky, by Burroughs (The spelling alternates between Junky and Junkie depending on release region.)
     
  15. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    IBS.

    He tends to get the shits before a mission. Earned him the nickname 'Blacktongue' due to all the medicinal coal he has to take to keep it in.
     
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  16. Superbean
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    Superbean Member

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    Cliche as it sounds, my character travels forward in time and is the only one who sees that the seemingly perfect society is actually pretty fucked up and he is the only one who has the ability to set things straight. The only problem is that he doesn't gives a shit about anybody but himself, he is always negative to everything and pretty much hate everyone else.

    My female protagonist is the other way around. She is really positive, almost to the point where it gets annoying. She has a mild case of mother teresa syndrome, and she think everything is doable, even whit present evidence of the contrary. She refuses to see defeat. Her problem however, is that she can do absolutely nothing to help the world, except trying to persuade the male protagonist to help. That is no easy task as he several times states that she repulses him.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  17. archerfenris
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    archerfenris Active Member

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    Indeed. Not just addiction either (I'm in the Army so cannot do any of the drugs I'll be writing about and therefore know jack about it) but also a number of other topics which will require thorough study.

    Thank you! I'll look into it.
     
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  18. NanashiNoProfile
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    NanashiNoProfile Member

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    My MC is really naive, which he hasn't been able to much about given the location he grew up in. When he manages to break free of that place, his naivety gets him into plenty of trouble to begin with, and also inadvertently saves him from a nasty fate at one point. He does learn as he travels, and gradually becomes more sure of himself as he finds he can deal with situations that initially terrified him, until he reaches a point where he has to deal with problems that need to him ensure the safety of someone else. I've written two possibilities after this, and I think I might go with the route where he fails.
     
  19. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Here are a few MCs and their weaknesses (although some double as strengths):

    1. She's too unsure of herself and holds herself to a ridiculous standard even though she's pretty good for a rookie. She's a perfectionist and has to berate and punish herself when she inevitably fails or makes a mistake. Her drive to help the needy also comes back to bite her in the ass a couple of times (the road to Hell...). She's something of an adrenaline junkie, preferring to lie to her doctors just so she's put back on active duty sooner rather than have one more week of bed rest and then come back in full health. Oh, and she's too naive and starry-eyed for her own good (although this fault fades over the course of the story when she's gradually introduced to the darker side of humanity).

    2. He's overly paranoid. Jonas Blaine's quote describes him quite accurately: "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean you're not following somebody." He's also something of a crusader, always eager to explain his logic and reasoning why everyone should carry two pistols, a rifle, three knives, an impact weapon, and a fully loaded survivalist backpack at all times. His relentless pursuit to improve the survival odds of the group of people he basically leads in a very hostile environment sometimes results in confrontations since he demands too much from people who are essentially normal janes and joes.

    3. She's homeless, has unrealistic goals, she's a drug addict, she suffers from borderline personality disorder and occasional hallucinations, and lives in denial of both her past and present, unable to face all that she's gone through and all she does to support herself. She has developed a second personality (persona?) who can handle all the crap life throws at her and now finds it impossible to drop the act without an urgent desire to get wasted or commit suicide.

    4. He's a hopeless romantic with a strong white knight syndrome that more often than not gets him in serious trouble. He's also a slut.

    5. She's extremely skilled, but also a bonafide psychopath, i.e. unable to feel empathy, love etc. And she's fascinated with death and killing people just to see them die in different ways.

    6. She's too wrapped up in her admiration of heroes from local folk legends, so, hoping to be more like her idols, she often dashes headlong into battle against overwhelming odds to rescue somebody she's never met (not an uncommon situation since she's traveling through a war-torn area spanning a few countries) only to get herself badly injured, a few times almost killed. Her desire to do good and save the world brings a lot of grief to her closest friends whom she usually (inadvertently) drags along into trouble since they don't want to let her get herself killed doing a basically good deed. Her sense of honor is also way too pronounced (again, learned from legends of olden times and taken far too literally), causing her to greatly downplay or hide her injuries, often making them worse in the long run. Trouble also ensues from her determination to prove she's just as capable with the sword as her male counterparts, i.e. she sometimes enters a fight needlessly when the smart move would've been to run away. That handicap is emphasized by her crossdressing: to maintain her manly disguise, she can't allow herself to e.g. cry, complain about pain or discomfort etc, but she takes it a bit too far. Oh, and she's also somewhat immature (then again, she's 17...) and hot-headed, lashing out a tad too easily, which doesn't really do her any favors in social situations.
     
  20. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    MC1. Only slightly reckless because he has lived too long and needs some excitement. He also avoids making attachments to people that he knows he will outlive and secretly longs to meet his real parents because he is an orphan.

    MC2. Aloof and abrasive. He has no interest in being social and has no mercy.

    MC3. Too much of a clown. Takes nothing seriously. Perhaps a bit too facetious.
     
  21. Joe_
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    Joe_ Member

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    My main is a mans man. I do need to solidify him though with conflict. When his wife was fatally shot, he fell into alchohol to cope but after having a vivid vision of her he stopped. Later in the story I passed up an oppurtunity to have him fall off the wagon. I think he is too perfect if you will.
     
  22. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This reminds me of this picture. I might still write something based on it :D
     

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  23. elynne
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    elynne Active Member

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    the MC in my current project is young, inexperienced (though well-trained), idealistic, and naive, and so presents a (seemingly) easy target for the second-main's manipulations. the second-main has spent his entire life in a rather stagnant, stratified society, believing that there's something wrong with him because he's different from everybody he knows, being alternately praised and condemned for his differences while struggling to secure a place for himself and the affections of the people he cares about. second-main tries to use MC as a pawn in various schemes, before realizing that MC knows a lot more about what makes second-main different than he ever could have suspected.
     
  24. Lae
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    Lae Contributing Member Contributor

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    @KaTrian IBS! thats a tough one, and quite original for a MC. I like it,

    mine is simply that he's an arse, hes a bit of a prat, he's insensitive, juvenile and insecure. I dont like those fake flaws that are actually positives....feels like im watching someone at a job interview.

    "my biggest weakness? i work tooo hard!"

    :wtf:
     
  25. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    No please don't mess with my mind like that :D
     
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  26. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Heh, thanks. The last time I mentioned this, I was told no one wants to read about a hero with IBS :wtf:. Now what would those soldiers with the IBS say to that, I wonder... And it's not like that's what the story is about. And he has other weaknesses too.

    The good thing is, this allows you to develop the character as he's bound to grow up some over the course of the story. The bad thing is, juvenile and bratty people can be very annoying. I can't think of a literary example right now, but the character of Nathan in the TV show Misfits was an insufferable prat, but he was also very funny, so it was difficult to get annoyed with him.
     

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