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Character Flaws: Create Depth and Drive the Plot

Learn how to decide and develop your character's flaws in a way that drives the narrative and engages readers.

Character Flaws: Create Depth and Drive the Plot

Learn how to decide and develop your character's flaws in a way that drives the narrative and engages readers.
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This lesson helps you craft characters with genuine flaws rather than weaknesses that do not add depth to the story.
Strong flaws not only create three-dimensional characters, they are critical to the entire story. This lesson clarifies how to craft character's flaws that heighten drama.
Learn to categories the kinds of flaws your character can have so that you build numerous types of flaws into a single person. This creates depth and drama.
Authors should have a strategic reason for the flaws they choose. This module will examine how to choose the best flaws for your character.
How to maximize your chosen character flaws by integrating them into both the surface story and under story.
How to choose underlying character beliefs that result in flaws.
Literary examples of how beliefs and flaws work.
How a characters beliefs are connecting to his values. This lesson examines creating realistic beliefs and values that ensure consistency of your flaw throughout the story.
This lesson examine why a character behaves in a flawed manner. What is the upside of the bad behavior?
What do you do if your character does not seem to have any flaws?
Ways to write flaws into your story with realism and drama.
Literary examples of well-written characters

Flaws are one of the most important characteristics we consider when designing a character. This is because they are intimately connected to the plot and the goals of the story. This course is designed to help you avoid major pitfalls that result in weak characters whose traits do not push the narrative forward and whose behaviors lack consistency and resonance.

We will address:

  1. The difference between character flaws and weaknesses, and how to balance these things when developing your character
  2. The importance of character flaws and weaknesses as they relate to your plot, the character’s relationship to the reader, and the character’s relationship to other characters
  3. Types of flaws your character might possess and how each of these types affects the story you tell
  4. Making sure your flaws are strategic so that you maximize the plot as well as the reader’s investment in the story and the character
  5. Understanding how flaws affect both the surface, action-based story you are telling as well as the emotional understory that the whole novel is about
  6. Creating characters whose actions are consistent and meaningful by Relating flawed actions to the character’s underlying beliefs
  7. Questions to help you flesh your character out
  8. What to do when your character has no identifiable flaws and you like it that way

Requirements

There are no prerequisites for the course.

This lesson helps you craft characters with genuine flaws rather than weaknesses that do not add depth to the story.
Strong flaws not only create three-dimensional characters, they are critical to the entire story. This lesson clarifies how to craft character's flaws that heighten drama.
Learn to categories the kinds of flaws your character can have so that you build numerous types of flaws into a single person. This creates depth and drama.
Authors should have a strategic reason for the flaws they choose. This module will examine how to choose the best flaws for your character.
How to maximize your chosen character flaws by integrating them into both the surface story and under story.
How to choose underlying character beliefs that result in flaws.
Literary examples of how beliefs and flaws work.
How a characters beliefs are connecting to his values. This lesson examines creating realistic beliefs and values that ensure consistency of your flaw throughout the story.
This lesson examine why a character behaves in a flawed manner. What is the upside of the bad behavior?
What do you do if your character does not seem to have any flaws?
Ways to write flaws into your story with realism and drama.
Literary examples of well-written characters

About the instructors

Barbara Vance

Author, Illustrator
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Barbara Vance is an author, illustrator and educator. She has a PhD in Narrative and Media, has taught storytelling and media production at several universities, and has spoken internationally on the power of storytelling and poetry. Barbara’s YouTube channel focuses on illustration and creative writing.

Her poetry collection, Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain, which she wrote and illustrated, is a Moonbeam Children’s Book winner, an Indie Book Award winner, and was twice a finalist for the Bluebonnet Award. Its poems are frequently used in school curricula around the world.

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