Weaknesses that Authors Make Charecters Have
Oraginally, I had a title with an error in it to prove my point. That was made on purpose. However, that is not mistake I am referring to at this time. The one I want to talk about is a big problem with picking a character.
The character that you pick must have room to grow.
Have you ever played a video game on level one where the character has the best weapon in the game? That sounds fun but it will get boring fast. A game should be a challenge. The same is true for a book character.
Take Sherlock Homes, for instance. Say, he had all the answers from day one. He would never leave his home. The police would come to him for answers. He would also be psychic.
So, you just gave him a supernatural leveling up of a lifetime. Sherlock Homes no longer has to leave his home. He knows everything. All he has to worry about is opium addiction. (What did you think he was smoking? And, they didn't worry too much at that time.)
Another example would be Twilight. Yes, the characters do grow if even a little. Bella has to learn to be a mother if she likes it or not. Edward learns to be not so much a jerk to Bella. Her father learns to love, again. Jacob has to learn to move on from his early childhood crush.
So, lets say that everyone has already leveled up. Bella gets to be with Edward the first day they meet. Jacob only gives Bella quite smile telling her that he has moved on from when they where kids but they can still be friends ... that the first day they see each other. And, Bella's father has already found someone to love and he knows about the wolves and vampires somehow. Everyone lives happily ever after from day one.
All drawings are DChance's.
Create a Weakness
As you can see, Sherlock Homes had an addiction to smoking. There could have been opium or cocaine in that pipe.
In any case, he would not have been able to put down his pipe, easily. This would have been his weakness.
As anyone who smokes cigarettes knows, it takes time to smoke. Time that will take away from answering the questions in how to solve the crime. Also, the smoke may contaminate the evidence.
Some authors know this is weakness but ignore it, hoping that everyone will not care.
About a weakness...
It can not be ignored. Everyone of the characters can see it or will notice.
What is done about the weakness?
+ Every character tells the main character that they love him or her, anyway. This is done because the author wants the main character to be the center of attention. But, this gets readers wanting to throw your book.
It does not matter if your book is a best seller. I started to not like Twilight because of this reason. Every character loves Bella but Bella is not a nice person.
This is Bella's weakness. She is not nice.
I know there are people that say, "Oh, she just moved to a new town. We should let her adjust." However, people do let her adjust. Everyone just loves her no matter what happens to others.
It is important that the author make what happens to others not the main character fault. Or, make sure that nothing happens to others because of the main characters weakness.
Alice in Wonderland didn't know very much. She was a little girl. Her greatest weakness that only effected her was her curiosity. Because, of her need to fallow the white rabbit she fell into a fantasy world.
This curiosity in no way hurt her. In fact, everyone helped her try to find the rabbit. Nothing bad every happened to her. Yes, she did run away in the end but she was fine by the end of the story.
I will use several examples but I will talk about Twilight first of all.
Bella can't stand to be nice to anyone except Edward.
This might be why people like the book. She is the bad girl in the book. She can not be tamed. Her weakness has created intrigue for the readers.
Everyone wants to know if she somehow can be tamed by Edward. Will the icy prince heal the icy princess? I am sure the reader wants to say, "yes".
Edward is the one person that can love her. Then, when that happens she is able to love everyone else.
Dracula has women problems. So, what does he do? He turns more women into vampires to add to his current problem. He learns nothing from his weakness. Women.
The reader wants him to find someone that will love him for him. Instead of looking for one over time, he decides to make more vampires almost right away. This is his weakness.
Not only does he have a problem with women he falls for the women that have men problems, as well. He only makes more trouble for himself in the end.
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
I really liked this book. It is about a young black man with a hug weakness. He is very naive.
I am sure the reader wants him to learn from his mistakes but he keeps making new ones. He is far too innocent to learn from his mistakes.
This weakness ends up not mattering much to him in the end. Other people, just seem to forget about it.
Real people have problems. They may not learn from them. This is life. It is hard to change in life.
Books should give us a sense of reality. The main characters should have something in common with real life no matter how far off from reality the book may seem to the author and the reader.
The best sellers seem to have weakness that don't change easily or not at all.
What Makes You Mad?
Sometimes what makes the reader mad is what makes the author a best seller.
How many books do you read a month?
Working on Your Own Story
Outline your story before you write. Let your characters seem real to the reader.