Quirky & Flawed Characters

I’ve been working on giving one of my characters a distinct flaw. The idea is that a character with a quirk or flaw is more memorable, easier to identify with and more real. It took me quite a while to decide on the flaw. I thought of several that I ultimately discarded.

It got me to thinking about other character’s memorable quirks.
-Laura Ingalls hated to wear a sunbonnet.
-Elizabeth Bennett wasn’t particularly accomplished (gasp).
-Atticus Finch was an unexpectedly good shot.

My favorite example is Father Tim in the Mitford Series by Jan Karon. He has diabetes. How did Jan Karon come up with that quirk? Turns out she thought she might have diabetes and did a ton of research on it. She wasn’t diabetic, but hated to waste perfectly good research. Poor Father Tim.

It’s fun coming up with quirks and/or flaws. It makes my character seem more real to me–and frankly, more fun to hang out with. It’s easier to be around people who have problems–you know, just like me.

So what quirks/flaws do you particularly remember from some of your favorite books?

3 thoughts on “Quirky & Flawed Characters

  1. Mom

    Oliver Stone of David Baldacci’s Camel Club series and his PTSD.
    Can’t remember the boy’s name in the dog book you wouldn’t finish who couldn’t speak. (and I’ve read all of the James Lee Burke books with Dave Robicheaux. Too bad I’ve given them all away.

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