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Old 06-18-2013, 05:32 PM   #1
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Character Flaws

What character flaws do you like in the characters you enjoy?
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:52 PM   #2
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:02 PM   #3
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:07 PM   #4
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I think I'm enamored with the outwardly successful, but inwardly broken type.

The successful attorney with the looks, money and women, who was badly abused as a child and always has candles lit because he is afraid of the dark.

The powerful bad ass lesbian witch who claims no man is worthy of her, but truth was she was gang raped in her early teens and men make her skin crawl and she harbors a pathological hatred for them.

I enjoy the anti-hero. The character who lets face it, is not a good person, but happens to be in the mix against an even worse person. The lesser of two evils scenario
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovecraft68 View Post
I think I'm enamored with the outwardly successful, but inwardly broken type.

The successful attorney with the looks, money and women, who was badly abused as a child and always has candles lit because he is afraid of the dark.

The powerful bad ass lesbian witch who claims no man is worthy of her, but truth was she was gang raped in her early teens and men make her skin crawl and she harbors a pathological hatred for them.

I enjoy the anti-hero. The character who lets face it, is not a good person, but happens to be in the mix against an even worse person. The lesser of two evils scenario
I'm reading Elmore Leonards early western stories, and all his PCs are part Apache, raised by the Apache, and orphaned. The army rescues these guys as teens, then people treat them like crap, but they become formidable forces of one. Whatever comes along they deal with it without whining or appeals for mercy.
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:31 PM   #6
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAMESBJOHNSON View Post
What character flaws do you like in the characters you enjoy?
Flaws? I don't know. I like characters who aren't afraid to be vulnerable, who can reveal what's really going on in their minds. But not too much, or it would be a drag; there has to be balance.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:20 AM   #8
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I like characters who don't know they aren't good at something until they make a colossal mistake and have to deal with the repercussions. Or characters that are actually very good at what they do, but constantly second-guess themselves.
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:43 AM   #9
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Flaws? I don't know. I like characters who aren't afraid to be vulnerable, who can reveal what's really going on in their minds. But not too much, or it would be a drag; there has to be balance.
Your comment reminds me of the Civil War diary Thomas Elder kept. He was the commissary officer for the Florida Brigade in Virginia. His constant burden was too few men to collect the food the brigade needed. Slaves were not to be had, because of scarcity.

At Gettysburg the Florida Brigade was wrecked, for all intents and purposes. An obscure sidebar of Picketts Charge was the Florida attack on the Union line after Pickett failed. Lee ordered the attack to help Picketts men retreat, and the Floridians struck, and perished. It was the Florida debris whom Lee made his famous apology to.

Elders diary for July 4th, 1863 notes that sufficient servants are no longer a problem.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:01 AM   #10
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I like bumbling fools and the naive.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:58 AM   #11
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I like bumbling fools and the naive.
Then you are in the right thread.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:11 AM   #12
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I like bumbling fools and the naive.
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Then you are in the right thread.
I might qualify as both.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:57 PM   #13
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Your comment reminds me of the Civil War diary Thomas Elder kept. He was the commissary officer for the Florida Brigade in Virginia. His constant burden was too few men to collect the food the brigade needed. Slaves were not to be had, because of scarcity.

At Gettysburg the Florida Brigade was wrecked, for all intents and purposes. An obscure sidebar of Picketts Charge was the Florida attack on the Union line after Pickett failed. Lee ordered the attack to help Picketts men retreat, and the Floridians struck, and perished. It was the Florida debris whom Lee made his famous apology to.

Elders diary for July 4th, 1863 notes that sufficient servants are no longer a problem.
Well, I don't get the correlation. Maybe I'm missing something. I was just saying that vulnerabiility in a character or between real people can be good. In real life I can think of only one instance where I reached out to someone to say what was breaking my heart in a moment of grief and it was heard and responded to in a way that amazed me. But you know how humans are. Frail and broken in some way, imperfect. To have that one moment is more than.some have.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Well, I don't get the correlation. Maybe I'm missing something. I was just saying that vulnerabiility in a character or between real people can be good. In real life I can think of only one instance where I reached out to someone to say what was breaking my heart in a moment of grief and it was heard and responded to in a way that amazed me. But you know how humans are. Frail and broken in some way, imperfect. To have that one moment is more than.some have.
Once you get the idea that we're always trying to connect with mutants from outer space the despair lessons a little.

OK. You don't get the correlation tho you state that you like vulnerable folks who say what they think but don't obsess about it. And I responded with a reference to a vulnerable commissary officer trying to feed 1000 men with too little help to do it, and when most of his burden is dead he makes a pithy comment, NEVER MIND.
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:10 PM   #15
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Once you get the idea that we're always trying to connect with mutants from outer space the despair lessons a little.

OK. You don't get the correlation tho you state that you like vulnerable folks who say what they think but don't obsess about it. And I responded with a reference to a vulnerable commissary officer trying to feed 1000 men with too little help to do it, and when most of his burden is dead he makes a pithy comment, NEVER MIND.
It would have been more helpful if you had just originally stated most of this in the first comment. I wasn't sure what you were saying in the other comment.

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Old 06-19-2013, 08:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I think I'm enamored with the outwardly successful, but inwardly broken type.

The successful attorney with the looks, money and women, who was badly abused as a child and always has candles lit because he is afraid of the dark.

The powerful bad ass lesbian witch who claims no man is worthy of her, but truth was she was gang raped in her early teens and men make her skin crawl and she harbors a pathological hatred for them.

I enjoy the anti-hero. The character who lets face it, is not a good person, but happens to be in the mix against an even worse person. The lesser of two evils scenario
I'm exactly the opposite of that first one. The more fucked up my characters are, the more fun they are to piss off, kick back, and watch the violence. I, too, am a fan of the anti-hero. The Punisher, as portrayed in the movie (the older one, not the one with John Travolta), is an example of a great antihero imo - like a drunk-half-the-time, line-o-coke-for-breakfast, what-time-do-your-legs-open, o-shit-trouble-better-save-the-world kind of hero.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I'm exactly the opposite of that first one. The more fucked up my characters are, the more fun they are to piss off, kick back, and watch the violence. I, too, am a fan of the anti-hero. The Punisher, as portrayed in the movie (the older one, not the one with John Travolta), is an example of a great antihero imo - like a drunk-half-the-time, line-o-coke-for-breakfast, what-time-do-your-legs-open, o-shit-trouble-better-save-the-world kind of hero.
The older Punisher? The one with Dolph Lundgren?

Man you are the only person I know who even remembers that movie and it was pretty damn good.

But yes, the Punisher, who I think was Marvel's first real anti hero (although Magneto was already demonstrating that flawed nobility by then)

It is very telling of society that the old fashioned white knight and the boy scout type do gooders like Superman are now scoffed at and the troubled hero or anti hero is all the rage.

Life has gone from black and white of simpler times to what it truly is

Gray.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:46 PM   #18
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The older Punisher? The one with Dolph Lundgren?

Man you are the only person I know who even remembers that movie and it was pretty damn good.

But yes, the Punisher, who I think was Marvel's first real anti hero (although Magneto was already demonstrating that flawed nobility by then)

It is very telling of society that the old fashioned white knight and the boy scout type do gooders like Superman are now scoffed at and the troubled hero or anti hero is all the rage.

Life has gone from black and white of simpler times to what it truly is

Gray.
Lmao. Yeah, and I prefer the older one. The newer one is good but it doesn't have that same gritty, beat-up, fuck-you-and-die attitude or look to it. It actually feels like they didn't even try, to be honest.

And don't get me wrong. I'm a huge fan of Superman (although I'm loving his new uniform - no more exterior underwear). But I also like antiheroes. Actually, Spider-Man is one of my faves - although he's sort of a clean-cut antihero. But yeah...
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:48 PM   #19
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I've notice a lot of people like their MC's to be slightly socially awkward. I think I've fulfilled that stereo-type.

Not sure if it is a flaw, but I like characters that are a little non-conformist, but sometimes not always realizing it themselves. I once told a fantasy story in which one character was overly cautious and fearful, while another was reckless and prideful. That was fun.
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:04 PM   #20
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Have a look into Nicomachean (sp?) ethics, or Aristotle's virtues, the golden mean, etc.

They all mean the same things: vices and virtues. If you don't already know, Aristotle taught that walking the middle path between excess and deficiency was the right way to life.

For example, someone who is a coward is guilty of a deficiency of bravery. Someone who is rash and rushes headfirst in is guilty of an excess of it.

Being brave but steady when the time is right is a virtue.

So in other words, giving characters a deficiency or an excess of a virtue is a great way to insert character flaws and flesh them out.

Example: John is a succesful lawyer with a few houses to his name and a huge fortune tucked away. However he measures his success by money, and rarely shares it with anybody.

For all his fortune, he is tight, mean and hard-spirited. He has an excess of pride and a deficiency of generosity, beleiving himself to be above others that are poorer.

If you wanted to make him more endearing, however, then give him a deficiency of confidence. He's chronically shy. His success comes from his academic skills, not his interpersonal skills. He hates people becuase he can't relate to them.

And so on, you keep adding them until you have a character you are happy with. I love characters like that becuase the scope is always there for them to rise above it and move from deficiency/excess of a trait, to virtue and balance, which brings catharsis to a story.
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:10 PM   #21
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The flaw I like best is not-being-a-billionaire.

I know it's quite a common flaw in real life, I'm quite partial to it in fiction, too.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:09 PM   #22
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I like social incompetence: the successful author who is caught by his "biggest fan" blowing his nose noisily outside the party; the woman caught by her boss licking the plate holding a delectable treat in a side room at the office party, the couple who try to kiss each other but only hit their teeth together, the person who is either under or overdressed for an event...
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:30 PM   #23
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:35 AM   #24
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Characters who have been through incredible tragedy, suffered loss and still find it within themselves to hope for the best. Characters who choose to wade in the darkness, praying for light at the end of the tunnel.

In short, misguided optimists.
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:50 AM   #25
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Characters who have been through incredible tragedy, suffered loss and still find it within themselves to hope for the best. Characters who choose to wade in the darkness, praying for light at the end of the tunnel.

In short, misguided optimists.
You like martyred heroes. I do, too.
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