Okay, so it's great to be back! I'm re-envisioning my blog (yes, again), so hopefully we'll be able to have some awesome discussions this year.
Up on tap today: Lessons from the Critique Trenches.
Receiving a critique can be hard. I think I've become completely desensitized to it somewhat. I get edited extensively from multiple sources, and I think I know how to look past what might hurt my feelings and into the novel to find the potential.
And some of that potential includes creating characters with flaws.
I'm terrible at doing this. If my main character isn't perfect, her boyfriend is. If he's not, her best friend is. Someone always is.
There are a couple of problems with this.
1. No one's perfect, and we hate that person who appears to be. You know, the one who decides to try out for the ballroom team and makes it, and then decides to run track the next and is the best? Yeah, that person. We hate them. Writing them into books isn't a good idea.
2. If the MC is already perfect, they have no character arc. And no arc = bad news for your novel.
3. If the MC has people around them that are perfect, what's the point of the secondary character? This is a question I've been asking myself a lot lately, trust me. I've cut entire characters from books before, so I can do it. It just makes for a lot of work, and sometimes I get frustrated that I haven't learned this lesson yet. I mean, seriously.
So lesson for today: Create flawed characters. Or at least be willing to revise them into that non-perfected, able-to-grow-and-change person they should've been when you drafted.
Do your characters have flaws? Do you actually think of these in advance or are you a non-perfector during revisions like I am?