Imperfect Characters

As some of you can probably tell, character creation and development is something that I enjoy a lot. I love the process of character writing, drawing out character designs and really anything to do with creating and developing a character. Even though I enjoy character developing, there is a way that can make a character feel flat. There is actually something that is easily avoidable. For me, making a character too “clean“. The phrase “mary sue” or “gary stu” is often used to describe characters that are too perfect. This idea of a character being completely perfect makes them lack dynamic attributes and can hinder the growth of these characters. The word imperfect may have a negative connotation, but it’s actually a very good thing for developing a character.

One of the first things to making “imperfect characters” is to not avoid making them “bad”. Now by bad, I don’t mean characters that aren’t developed. I’m talking about characters that do bad things or have less than desirable personalities. Characters are supposed to be like real people. Real people aren’t all kind, smart, naturally witty and other adjectives of the like. Real people can be rude and even down right horrible. There isn’t a necessity to make every character into an awful vile person, that can be a bit much in that of itself. But a writer shouldn’t be afraid to make a character that does bad things or has a rather negative personality. It can be very subtle to develop a character in this way, seeing that the behaviors that a character exudes don’t have to be outlandish.

Some of the more interesting characters are the ones that are imperfect. Developing these imperfections is a part of what makes character writing more fun!


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