Thursday, February 9, 2017

Character Flaws: Creating Reader Empathy Through A Character's Faults

All stories have characters.
Main characters.
Supporting characters.
Throw away characters.
An author’s goal when writing fiction is to get his or her audience to relate with the characters of their story. This rule applies to poems, short stories, novellas, novels, scripts, songs, comic books, and creative non-fiction works. The best way to create empathy is to give your characters human flaws. Just like everyday people, every protagonist, sidekick, mentor, ally, rival, henchman, and antagonist, should have faults.
These can come in the form of vices, quirks, habits, or neurosis. But they must be shown to the audience.
When the protagonist in a story starts off with personal problems, readers tend to root for them throughout the story. People want an underdog, because they see themselves as an underdog. becWhen a hero struggles with addictions, relationships, or internal conflicts, it humanizes them. Just as in real life, there are obstacles within stories, and writers must test their character in tough situations. A lot of times, when character is tested, wise decisions aren’t always made. That creates the human factor.

We all make mistakes.

We all fail.

But it’s how we bounce back from them that matters. If our characters can do the same, then the reader sees them as someone they can relate with.

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