Character Flaws Are Memorable

Whether you’re a writer or a reader, we can all say that most characters go through a tranformation. If the story is well told, it may connect to us on an emotional level. It may be a tattoo, limp, or facial disfigurement but whatever the case, the imperfection seems to bring the character to life in the mind of a reader. Well …  at least to this reader.

I recall the disfigurement of Asher in Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, or the scar of Zsadist as one of the Black Dagger Brotherhood members in the J. R. Ward BDB books, or the deadly tattoo on the arm of Lore in Larissa Ione’s Ectasy Unveiled. Flaws however are not the only thing you can use to paint your characters as memorable. In Ectasy Unveiled, the hero referred to the heroine as angel or cookie. I mean she was an Angel, but not after…hey, no spoilers, go read the story for yourself. Anyway, I just thought it was super sweet (pun not intended).

In Jacquelyn Frank’s, the Nightwalkers series, she used sensory elements of taste to affect the readers perception of the characters. The last book, correction book 5 because book 6 is coming out soon (yeahhhh [excited handclap]), Noah’s mate smelled like cotton candy. In Shiloh Walker’s, the Hunters series, in Hunters Need she used touch as a sensory element when Duke (hero) would nuzzle and purr against Ana (heroine).

I don’t know that you need all the sensory elements in a story but if you can weave it into a story with the emotions that they evoke behind them, it is sure to make for characters that will stay with a reader long after they’ve closed the cover of the book.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tillyslaton
    Sep 27, 2011 @ 12:45:56

    Asher and Zsadist 🙂 .. Two wonderful characters! ..

    I tend to gravitate more towards the I’m going to kill you now .. slowly and painfully .. Olaf .. Zsadist .. Raina ..

    Everyone has a character they can relate to .. Ty from Cut and Run has a traumatic background .. John from Black Dagger Brotherhood .. Acheron from the Hunter series from Kenyon .. Lestat .. The more a person can relate to the earth-shattering emotions of a character .. they more consumed they will become ..

    A lot of books that I have read lately, tend to lean towards the perfect relationships, the perfect bodies, or the perfect personality. That is so lame it makes me gag. No one is perfect and although fantasy books are just that! .. fantasy, and reading of another that is indeed perfect .. is exhausting.


  2. T.F.Walsh
    Sep 28, 2011 @ 06:42:52

    Asher always comes to mind when I think flawed characters – and he carries so much baggage because of this scar… Works really well. Though when writing your story, it is sometimes to come up with the right flaw for your character…


  3. tillyslaton
    Sep 28, 2011 @ 18:41:46

    Another brilliant character is Jacques from Christine Feehan’s Dark series .. His story is the second book of the series, Dark Desire (had to check bookshelf .. tripped .. ran into bookshelf .. thank goodness they are sturdy! ha!) Yes .. his story is the second book 🙂

    The first is Dark Prince .. In case you are interested in memorable or tragic characters .. The Dark series is FILLED with alpha males (shocker, right?) and some off the wall and intense females ..

    Every character in this series is unique in his or her own right .. Be it mental or physical.


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