Can a character be too good, or does everyone need a flaw? Those thoughts came to me this week when I read a post with several readers in agreement, that no matter how good the good guy is, he needs to be flawed. Why?
I am told the modern reader does not identify with perfect. Why?
A character needs to be flawed, most often deeply flawed. Why?
As a kid growing up in the 50s, I watched many television programs with hero’s who had no flaws, or none that I could see. I write westerns, historical fiction, and young reader novels, all with a bit of suspense. Some of my protagonists have flaws, others do not, or not of the usual type. I would hate to think, as many supposedly believe, that every protagonist should be flawed, often highly flawed.
Don’t take this to mean that a protagonist should never be flawed, not at all. Some of my favorite fictional characteries were highly flawed: Sherlock Holmes, Jack Reacher, Smoke Jensen, Barnaby Skye, Joe Leaphorn and Bernie Rhodenbarr, to name a few. But, I also enjoyed, as a youth: Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, Sky King and Captain Kangaroo, no flaws there, okay a few small glitches. As an adult reader, I have enjoyed characters with few or no flaws also, fictional characters such as Jim Chee, Joe Picket, Hewey Calloway and my own creation Blade Holmes.
OK - We Are All Somewhat Flawed
Then I realized that all characters are flawed, even the best of characters struggle with emotions and choosing what to do. Not always as big as right from wrong, but, no one makes the correct choice the first time, every time. Maybe, I was looking for flaws that were deeper, emotional or criminal flaws or risky lifestyle choices.
I have heard that all of us makes thousands of choices every day. So when writing a protagonist or other fictional characters, flaws do not have to be great, but remember, no one does it correctly the first time every time.
|Now Here is a Really Good Guy Campaigning for President - |
Not Really, Just Me
at Fort Laramie Last Year 4th of July and it's not Far Away
Take a Chance - Write About Some Good People
I hope that most writers are not afraid to write characters that are genuinely good people and try to do the right thing, each and every time. Readers and society as a whole, need it. Especially in the genres I write, truly good men and women never go out of style.
After a small downturn and disappointment in sales, it looks like my books are, once again, starting to sell. – Thanks, readers!
Look At My Books Here
Take a look here and see my westerns, Commitment and Under Western Skies. Commitment is a western mystery, and Under Western Skies is an uplifting and often romantic look at Christmas miracles.
Need a good summer read for the kids or grandkids? Check out, Melvin the E Street Ghost and, Then Mike Said, “There’s a Zombie in My Basement. All about growing up in the 1950s with a supernatural twist – fun for kids and those of us who grew up in the 50s.