To Minnie’s Readers,
Making Character Tip #2: No Character is Perfect
I don’t know why such an obvious rule goes over many new writers’ heads. I will use my lovely Sheryl as an example. As you can see, she is quite a confident gal. She outright tells Alto (I believe) that no woman is as wonderful as she is. However, Sheryl is not boasting here. She will back it up in later episodes through hardship, determination, and much more. That’s why all writers should keep this in mind- if your character is perfect, you better prove it and you better prove it well. He/she can’t say he/she is perfect without backing it up. That’s just not right and will annoy the hell out of your readers.
That advice above is only for extreme writers. If you are new at writing, do not even attempt to write a perfect character. You will dig your own grave. I don’t want anyone trying to write a Mary Sue or Gary Stu or whatever. DO NOT ATTEMPT AN EDWARD CULLEN. I repeat- DO NOT ATTEMPT AN EDWARD CULLEN.
“But Minnie,” whined Minnie’s little muse. “Edward Cullen is such a successful character!”
I laugh. No. Don’t even go there. Trust me on this one. Like my biology teacher once said, a broken clock is right twice a day. I will always remember this saying. Out of the millions of perfect characters that fail, there will be one that get it right. Edward Cullen is an exception to the rule and must never be attempted unless you are 100% sure you will become a big hit like Twilight. Heck, I even admit that I don’t like that book. Yuck. Anyways, I will spill the beans to everyone who hasn’t found out already- Edward Cullen is not perfect. Up there. It’s a trick. He’s very imperfect actually and that is why he makes a pretty decent (yet bland) character. If you try writing a perfect character, your readers won’t like it. Look around you for a few seconds- your family, your friends, and your colleagues. Are any of them perfect? No, absolutely not. We don’t meet perfect people in real life. We don’t want to meet perfect people in stories either.
“But Minnie,” whined Minnie’s muse again. “A lot of your characters are perfect! What are you talking about? They do such extraodinary things!”
No, they’re not. 😄 The rule I always set for myself is this: The more perfect your character seem to be, the more weaknesses she/he must have. This is a golden rule that should be taken to heart. Example.. example.. oh Xach! Everyone knows Xach right? Xach is able to beat a lot of the Spirits siblings combined. He is able to outsmart most of them in every single situation. Xach is very skillful in almost every single way from magic to smarts. He is clean, handsome, and loyal to an extreme. He looks perfect on the surface no? It’s a lie. It’s a cover up. Xach is a failure in drawing. He can’t even draw the simplest things. He always resorts to stick figures to explain anything. His extreme loyalty fail him- it killed Number One and caused a lot of people to suffer. His inability to think he’s less than anyone made him lose the love of his life and the love of his previous life. Xach is unable to regret anything because he doesn’t remember his past… this makes him the most insensitive person possible. Is he perfect still? Let me toss something in as well- Xach is half-Demon. There goes the perfection out the window.
Imperfection can come in many forms- lack of street smarts, lack of common sense, etc. An extremely imperfect character is just as annoying as a perfect character. Balance is essential. If a character is good at something, make that character bad at something else. If a character has the perfect love life, that character better be suffering in his carreer. Those are just examples. Let your imagination go wild. Think to yourself- Is my character too perfect? Too imperfect? Is my character too normal? Too peculiar? If so, they better have a good enough reason to keep your readers around. If not, be safe like me and go with enough weaknesses/strengths to sort things out and make it easy on yourself. (Actually, I do all sorts of things but I usually go with this 75% of the time)
Moving on from the wall of text…
Chapter 21 is here! It will feel different thanks to the dramatic last chapter since this one is more light-hearted. I hope everyone enjoy this new arc~
P.S. The results for Quiz #1 will be out by Wednesday or so!