Every character must have a journey throughout a novel through which they change. At My Book Therapy we call it the Lie Journey. Yes, the plot must be amazing.
Still, in order to have compelling characters we need them to come through their journey with the same types of struggles we have in life. As the story progresses they grow and change. For a character to change they must have a flaw that gives them difficulty in achieving their goals.
Let’s take a few tips on Kryptonite from Superman:
Superman’s tragic flaw is his problem with kryptonite. He has to find a way to overcome his weakness. Notice it doesn’t mean it doesn’t still give him difficulty, but he finds ways to overcome it. For Superman, it might be as simple as avoiding the kryptonite. For our heroes and heroines they have to work at it a bit.
How to Create A Hero’s Flaw:
1. Show others recognizing the change the lead character needs to make.
2. Have them reject the need to change the first time it is introduced early in the novel. This is how the reader can identify what a hero needs to change.
3. Help your hero / heroine make baby steps toward change in the story. They sometimes attempt and fail.
4. Have your hero/heroine accept the truth and then choose to act on it.
5. As the character grows towards complete change give them challenges that make their change even harder to believe and do.
It is important to variate the flaws of your hero/heroine. They can compliment on another best if they have flaws that are very different from each other’s.