I re-discovered this week that I have a major character flaw. A fondness for those cookies that my daughter has sold once a year for nine years. You would think by now I would understand that I cannot be trusted with a box of those things. I keep telling myself they are for a great cause and that’s why I continue to buy them, but am I lying to myself?
If I were in a contemporary romance, I would be the almost overweight heroine that gets snowed in with boxes of the one thing she can’t resist. Oh wait, no maybe that’s reality!
Characters need flaws. They are not interesting if they are perfect. I’m reworking my first book now, one of the reasons is my hero is too perfect. Can you imagine that, the perfect man? Sure my husband comes close to perfection but we are talking books here and the characters have to grow. They need to have learned something on their journey and changed for the better. My protagonist has plenty of issues, she almost needs a therapist. But somehow it’s taken me longer to learn how to develop the hero’s shortcomings.
As my writing has grown, so have my skills at assigning character flaws. In Highland Deception, my hero’s great flaw is on the first page of the book! My heroine’s is not far behind. Their defects feed off of each other and they must learn to overcome them in order for a Happily Ever After to take place.
Will I ever learn to overcome my current flaw? I think I learned a lesson, but I’ve said that before. Am I doomed to make the same mistake year after year? Those evil little cookies keep calling my name.
What do you think makes the best character flaws in the romances you’ve read? Jealousy, self doubt, greed or a phobia? I would love to hear from you.