Character Flaws and Quirks

Forums Fiction Characters Character Flaws and Quirks

This topic contains 15 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  I. D. Triskele 1 week ago.

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  • #93784

    I. D. Triskele
    @countryboy77

      “Don’t trust a perfect person and don’t trust a song that’s flawless.”

      One thing that turns me off to certain books, movies, and other forms of stories is the lack of relatability. Flaws and quirks are the very definition of humanity. Characters that lack both personal flaws and quirks lack an essential element of humanity as well as relatability.
      As a very famous Christain author, Gilbert Morris once stated, if you are able to bring to life a very likable as well as relatable character; hypothetically, the plot holds little relevance (I’m not saying the plot doesn’t matter, only that your character, not the plot, is what keeps your audience interested.)

      Character quirks are just as important since they not only heighten the relatability but also adds humor as well as more likable qualities to the character. It can even be used to explain characters and their actions. For example, a character of mine, Jayce Riker, is a kleptomaniac. He also suffers from OCD, meaning he struggles with compulsive desires to touch items with certain textures (shiny, soft, fuzzy, sharp, etc.). These impulses are part of the reason he steals certain items (you know, besides the whole addicted to the adrenaline rush thing). This is just one example of many concerning quirks and how they can work together with flaws to make your character every bit of the person they are.

      This is a thread to discuss character flaws and how or why they were developed. You can also discuss the different kinds of quirks and how they add to your characters. If you have questions I will do my best to answer them. Enjoy!

      (XNXP I'm not joking)
      Triskele's Own "48" that is all. -two-finger salutes-

      #93797

      Thomas (CrØss_Bl₳de)
      @thewirelessblade

      I need some thoughts here.

      I’ve got me a character with pretty much no flaws (This is only my third or fourth time ever making a internally flawed character), so I don’t know how to do it. I’m trying to go about this by figuring out my theme, and it isn’t working.

      The best way to discribe him is bouncy. He lives a perfectly normal life with a normal family (There’s part of my problem).

      Any thoughts?

      *Forum Signature here*

      #93800

      I. D. Triskele
      @countryboy77

        Well, the definition of a character flaw is a problem that directly affects the character’s actions and abilities, such as a violent temper. Alternatively, it can be a simple foible or personality defect, which affects the character’s motives and social interactions, but little else. (credit goes to google for that one)

        Theoretically, there are six main kinds of flaws:

        1. Aversion

        2. Fear

        3. Addiction (this can even be a physical addiction such as an addiction to adrenaline)

        4. Immorality (such as Jayce’s kleptomania)

        5. Poor Judgement

        6. Incompetence

         

        Honestly, any of these can be used in any sort of a setting, whether it be a sci-fi thriller or just another day at the house. Flaws are human and flaws exist in the real world.

        For example, your character is bouncy. Maybe he is a clutz which could hurl the family into all sorts of circumstances (I don’t know the plot so this isn’t a suggestion, merely an example). Maybe he is a happy, upbeat type until he is pushed to a certain point. The options are limitless and it should be easy to weave any number of flaws into your character.

        One more suggestion is try to connect some flaws to situations or scenes from his past. Everyone goes through hardships and sometimes hardships breed flaws.

        Anyway, I hope this helps. 😉

        (XNXP I'm not joking)
        Triskele's Own "48" that is all. -two-finger salutes-

        #93814

        Ariella Newheart
        @ariella-newheart

        @countryboy77 Nice topic! I’m starting a new WIP and hadn’t thought much about character flaws and quirks before reading your post.

        So, the MC of this story is called Cypher. He’s a by-the-book perfectionist, which will be fun to write because I’m sort of the same way. His quirk/flaw is that he refuses to deviate from the plan, and if anything goes wrong, he panics and has a tough time improvising. He’s a product of the culture he lives in, which is very orderly and methodical.

        Some of my characters in other books also have fun quirks. Zillah can’t sleep without having her dagger under her pillow. Elias names all his weapons. (I still haven’t figured the reason for that.) Zaiden distrusts redheads and people with metal limbs. (Better not ask about that one.)

        Btw, Jayce Riker sounds like a fun character. xD

        Fantasy writer, obsessive editor, illustrator, citizen of Parimi Alca

        *disappears into the shadows*

        #93822

        I. D. Triskele
        @countryboy77

          Whoa, they sound like really cool characters!

          If you have a chance I would love to hear more about the setting and characters.

           

          Also thanks, Jayce is one of my favorites. 😁

          (XNXP I'm not joking)
          Triskele's Own "48" that is all. -two-finger salutes-

          #93853

          Ariella Newheart
          @ariella-newheart

          @countryboy77

          If you have a chance I would love to hear more about the setting and characters.

          Sure thing! The book I’m trying to write is a sci-fi/fantasy mashup. The theme of the story is peace, and the five different cultures of the world all have different views on what peace is and how lasting peace can be obtained.

          I have five characters who represent those five cultures. Cypher is one of the Pelegrin, a very advanced and high-tech people known for their scientific advancements. Marlowe is one of the Grenadiers or “invaders” who have made an uneasy alliance with the Pelegrin. When they discover other warring peoples on the planet they have chosen to settle, they believe they are the only ones who can bring peace. Elaeya is troubled by the impact that the Grenadiers are having on her world, and she advocates that her people go into hiding to avoid the conflict. Xavier (name under consideration) believes that fighting is the only way to protect his people. The problem is, they are very stubborn and will not stop fighting even if their cause is proven unjust. Kyrielle is a Nymph who believes peace can only be brought by compromise and sacrifice. She is a fierce advocate of pacifism.

          I’ve never done a project with such a huge theme before. This a delicate subject and I know many people will disagree with me about it, but I hope to get readers thinking.

          Also thanks, Jayce is one of my favorites.

          What’s his story? I’ve never read about a character who is a kleptomaniac.

          Fantasy writer, obsessive editor, illustrator, citizen of Parimi Alca

          *disappears into the shadows*

          #93865

          Edmund Lloyd Fletcher
          @edmund-lloyd-fletcher

          @thewirelessblade Just brainstorming here, but I’m thinking that perhaps the character is just untested.  Maybe he’s happy-go-lucky and straight-laced/squeaky-clean because up until now he’s led a safe, suburban american lifestyle.

          Story could start out that we see him in his safe little world, but what happens when his moral character is put to the test?  For example, what happens when things start to come undone and spiral out of control?  Does he explode, get angry/violent, get depressed (even question God!??), run away in fear?

          I think I’m liking this idea because he doesn’t even know what his true nature is until tested by fire, and moreover, the reader doesn’t either, and has to go along and explore that alongside him.

          Homeschooling father of 10, writing Christian action/adventure novels from my home high in the Rockies.

          #93878

          Thomas (CrØss_Bl₳de)
          @thewirelessblade

          @edmund-lloyd-fletcher

          Great idea and all, but I don’t even know what he’ll do myself.

          10 kids! Wow. I certainly can’t complain about not being able to make time to write.

          *Forum Signature here*

          #93906

          Veraza Winterknight
          @kari-karast

          @thewirelessblade Is your character from your Minecraft story? If so, and if he’s the guy who gets tossed into Minecraft, you could probably play off his fear of a new world and not knowing what’s going on.

           

          (ENFP) Even the word hopeless is not entirely devoid of hope.

          #93907

          Thomas (CrØss_Bl₳de)
          @thewirelessblade

          @kari-karast

          This is a different project.

          *Forum Signature here*

          #93909

          Veraza Winterknight
          @kari-karast

          @thewirelessblade

          Okay. Well, as humans, everyone is naturally flawed. So maybe you could even draw upon your own flaws to figure out what flaws would work best for your character? And you could show your character’s flaws and strengths just in a normal setting. I mean, a lot of people lead “normal” lives but their flaws still show.

          (ENFP) Even the word hopeless is not entirely devoid of hope.

          #94481

          I. D. Triskele
          @countryboy77

            What’s his story? I’ve never read about a character who is a kleptomaniac.

            Ooh, good question. He is a rather unusual character, to say the least. He is one character that can really fit into any genre.

            He actually has two versions. One being his original version as the main character of the first phase (which is actually the second phase) of Key Keepers of Archia. The other is a more modern-day version with a few tweaks on his backstory and interests.

            So which version would you like to know?

             

            (XNXP I'm not joking)
            Triskele's Own "48" that is all. -two-finger salutes-

            #94512

            Ariella Newheart
            @ariella-newheart

            @countryboy77 Hm. I’d like to hear about the Key Keepers of Archia version. (I assume that’s your WIP?)

            Fantasy writer, obsessive editor, illustrator, citizen of Parimi Alca

            *disappears into the shadows*

            #94578

            I. D. Triskele
            @countryboy77

              @ariella-newheart Correct, although, arguably the modern-day version is a lot more interesting.

              Well, here goes…

              KKOA is a fantasy/steampunk mashup WIP of mine in which Jayce originates. A son of Bladashia, Jayce was born in a small village just east of their less friendly neighbor, Shadoni. He was an unusual child right from birth. You see there was no father… at all. His mother couldn’t quite explain what happened, just one day Jayce came along.

              Naturally, with no explanation, assumptions were made. Often times people become their reputation and this case was no different. Jayce was left to fend for himself while his mother spent her days drinking her life away at the tavern. The evenings were left to making the one she blamed her failure on miserable as Jayce was subjected to much verbal and physical abuse.

              During the day, an elderly woman took pity on the boy and looked after him while his mother wasn’t around. To keep him occupied, she gave him a bow which he took to immediately becoming quite skilled even at his young age.

              One day marauders attacked his village and captured Jayce. Taken back to Rockladon, he was immediately sold into slavery where the taskmasters set about to break his will. Jayce was less than submissive and one night, after getting a hold of a whip and nearly killing a guard, he was chained down and branded with the mark of permanent. Sometimes, although very rarely, slaves could buy their freedom, however, those with the mark were destined to be slaves forever. It was sort of a fate worse than death type of thing.

              Soon, Jayce was sold to a manor where he became something a little lower than a stable boy. Little food, abuse, and overseers that were quite free with the whip often took the lives of the poor souls that worked nearly day and night. However, some spirits are too stubborn to die. Jayce became quite good at snatching tidbits of food and nourishment for him and his fellow slaves. He developed a gift for quick hands and nimble fingers as well as a certain agility and cunning.

              As fate or providence would have it, a thief broke into the very stable where Jayce was, looking for a horse. Instead of blowing the whistle, Jayce begged the man to take him away from that wretched place. The thief took pity on the boy and took him back to the brotherhood. It didn’t take them long to spot Jayce’s potential and, weighed with his size, decided to take him in and train him to be a first-class thief. Jayce learned quickly and soon surpassed even his teachers as well as increasing in skill with both his bow and the lute.

              Staying true to his free nature, he soon became restless. Packing his bow and lute, he slipped on his hood and caught the fastest horse to Emberlin, the capital of Archia. This is where the story finds him stealing the necklace of a young senator’s daughter who happens to be Eva White. He soon contacted by Gavriel, a Mistborn in hiding, who recruits him into a team of thieves hired by an anonymous beneficiary to steal the Key of Emberlin. After the heist, Jayce decides to take the key for himself and, while fleeing from the scene, slips the key around his neck. Unknowingly becoming a Key Keeper and spiraling him into a century-long war for the seven Keys of Archia.

               

              As far as flaws and quirks…

              As I have already mentioned, Jayce has major OCD which is part of the reason for his Kleptomania. He also suffers from severe PTSD and panic attacks. He allowed his hair to grow shaggy for the sole reason of covering up the shameful brand.

              —————————–

              So that’s Jayce. Sorry it’s so long.

              (XNXP I'm not joking)
              Triskele's Own "48" that is all. -two-finger salutes-

              #94927

              Ariella Newheart
              @ariella-newheart

              @countryboy77  Wow. Jayce has a really interesting story! I’m curious to know where it goes. If you ever need a beta reader for your book, let me know! 🙂

              Fantasy writer, obsessive editor, illustrator, citizen of Parimi Alca

              *disappears into the shadows*

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