Wanna Win - Tips for Becoming an Award-Winning
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Ouside the Square - Writing Publishable Short
Boost Your Writing Income and get Paid to Write
Perfect - Give 'Em Flaws
How often have you heard someone say "hes a
If you want full-bodied 3D characters in your stories,
you need to make them believable to readers. To achieve
perfection in characters, any characters minor or
major you have to give them flaws.
I can hear you now: "But I want my characters to be
Let me ask a simple question how many people do
you know who are perfect? People with no problems,
phobias or annoying habits, no relatives theyd
rather disown, or skeletons in the closet. Someone whose
life is, well, perfect?
Nope, me neither.
Think about some of the flaws (or problems) your friends
or relatives might possess. Well start with a few
phobias: fear of spiders, snakes, heights, cars, water,
people or crowds.
Then there are the mania group of problems:
obsessive compulsive, bipolar, panic disorder,
Now lets add a few personality flaws: snorting
while laughing, constant clearing of throat, neck
Of course theres also hyperactivity and its related
And these are just a few!
Think for a moment about some of your favourite
television shows. How many of the main protagonists are
perfect? Not many, in my opinion.
For instance, in "Monk" the main character
Detective Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) would
drive any normal person crazy. He suffers from obsessive
compulsive disorder and a number of phobias, which all
stem back to the murder of his wife, Trudy. Monk is
afraid of absolutely everything there is to be anxious
about, and wont go anywhere without his nurse.
Heights, germs, crowds, milk, and driving all terrify him.
You name it; hes frightened to do it.
On the upside, Monk has a photographic memory and is
brilliant when it comes to catching the bad guys. Despite
the fact hes on psychiatric leave from the police
force, hes a perfect character, er, totally flawed
Now take good ol "Columbo" from many
years ago. He was a damned annoying character; dirty,
scruffy, and in some ways inconsistent. But he always got
his man, er, woman, er he definitely got the bad
guy every single time!
Lets now look at long-running television series
NYPD Blue: Detective Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) is a
great cop. But hes got issues his son is
estranged, when it comes to his personal life hes
got no confidence in himself, plus hes bald and
overweight. But we all love him! Why? Because hes
the underdog; were all egging him on, we absolutely
want him to achieve whatever it is he aims for.
In that same show, you will also find Detective John
Clark Jnr. (Mark-Paul Gosselaar). His main issue is the
fact that hes walking in his famous police
detective fathers footsteps. Everything he does has
to be as perfect and brilliant as his father would do.
John Jnr. wants to live up to his fathers
achievements, but in endeavouring to achieve that almost
impossible task, he has many self-doubts.
Take a long hard look at your characters. Do they reek of
perfection? Ack! Give them a dressing down, some bad
qualities, and a few ghastly habits that leave something
to be desired.
Make your characters perfectly
Copyright Cheryl Wright. All Rights Reserved.
best-selling ebook "Think Outside the Square: Writing
Publishable (Short) Stories" is available
now for immediate download.
About the author: Cheryl Wright is an Australian author
and freelance journalist. In addition to an array of
other projects, she writes a monthly travel column for a
magazine in the US and is the author of "Think Outside
the Square: Writing Publishable (Short) Stories". Visit
Cheryl's website www.cheryl-wright.com or you can visit
Cheryl's website for writers, Writer2Writer