Saturday, January 10, 2015

Protagonists: When weaknesses are strengths

When writing in a protagonist or hero for your story, make sure you focus on their weaknesses just as much as their strengths.  This is really key to depth of character.  No one likes a flawless hero, just as much as no one likes a flawless villain.  The reason for this is that no one can relate to those types of character attributes.  A true character should have a mixture of three things: A strength, a weakness and a struggle to balance the two.  This weakness will bring out your character's true strengths.  Such examples of these weaknesses could be ego, a disability, stuttering, muteness, a phobia of something, lack of faith, addiction, etc.  A weakness can be overcome in the story to exhibit growth in the character, though it is just as strong to write about a protagonist who cannot over come the weakness, but somehow steers around it.  Try a free write using this strategy.  You may have noticed some of these characters in my stories.  A few examples:

Karlus Rite - Muteness
Vincent Putnam - Alleged schizophrenia
Prince Eric - Pain from betrayal
Gatlin Aquinas - Facial scar
Predella - False reputation of terrorism
Lai Gakuin - Blindness
Lana - Memory loss
Ores Paltronis - Loss of family
Mary Dire - Alcoholism

The list can go on and on...Can you recall some weaknesses in your favorite characters from your favorite novels and films?