If you don’t believe me, ask my house. It looks far from perfect on any given day of the week.
If you don’t believe me, ask my hairdo. It falls flat more often than not.
If you don’t believe me, ask my manuscript. It needs editing that even a red pen gasps at.
If no one is perfect, why is it that we create perfect characters?
Yes, we want readers to love them and find them inspiring, but last I checked we can’t stand the perfect people. They remind us of our own imperfections.
How can we make our Hero and Heroine more human?
In our manuscripts our hero and heroine need to be amazing, inspiring and heroic. They also need to be flawed. It is more than just making mistakes. There needs to be something that they struggle with in their day to day lives.
Let’s look at a few well known characters:
*Anne from Anne of Green Gables is tragically flawed with temper and impulsiveness.
*Luke Skywalker from Star Wars struggles with inexperience and an overwhelming desire to find his father which makes him vulnerable to the dark side.
*The captain from The Perfect Storm is flawed by greed.
*Buttercup from The Princess Bride is flawed by her fear of abandonment and lack of faith in love.
*Anne gets in to all kinds of trouble and heartbreak because of her temper and impulsiveness.
*Luke Skywalker rushes in to fight Darth Vader thinking that he change him. His inexperience gets him in over his head.
*The captain’s greed puts the ship and crew up against a killer storm that they may not survive.
*Buttercup feels abandoned and worries that she will be alone forever. A feeling we can all relate to.
How To Make Your Hero/Heroine More Human:
1. Identify the great challenge your character faces in the story.
*Anne- Getting the acceptance of the home she is sent to. They originally wanted a boy. They got her. Now she must convince them to keep her.
*Luke Skywalker- Becoming a Jedi and overcoming the dark side.
*Captain- Making enough money to keep his business and overcoming the storm.
*Buttercup- Finding and keeping her one true love.
*Anne- Her impulsiveness and temper frustrate the very people she wants to accept her.
*Luke Skywalker- His inexperience and passion for overcoming the dark side make him naive and he rushes in before he is ready making it difficult to overcome the dark side.
*Captain- His greed keeps him from turning back when the storm alerts are given and pushes him further into the danger zone.
*Buttercup- Her fear that she is abandoned leads her to accepting the prince’s proposal, making it difficult to find and keep her one true love.
How do you make your characters more human? OR Who do you think is the most likable characters you’ve seen in a movie?