Make em Perfect Give
Cheryl Wright - All Rights Reserved
How often have you heard someone say
"hes a perfect hero"?
want full-bodied 3D characters in your stories,
you need to make them believable to readers. To
achieve perfection in characters, any characters
minor or major you have to give
I can hear you now: "But I want my
characters to be perfect!"
Let me ask a simple question how many
people do you know who are perfect? People with
no problems, phobias or annoying habits, no
relatives theyd rather disown, or skeletons
in the closet. Someone whose life is, well,
Nope, me neither.
Think about some of the flaws (or problems)
your friends or relatives might possess.
Well start with a few phobias: fear of
spiders, snakes, heights, cars, water, people or
Then there are the mania group of
problems: obsessive compulsive, bipolar, panic
Now lets add a few personality flaws:
snorting while laughing, constant clearing of
throat, neck cracking.
Of course theres also hyperactivity and
its related problems.
And these are just a few!
Think for a moment about some of your
favourite television shows. How many of the main
protagonists are perfect? Not many, in my
For instance, in "Monk" the main
character Detective Adrian Monk (Tony
Shalhoub) would drive any normal person
crazy. He suffers from obsessive compulsive
disorder and a number of phobias, which all stem
back to the murder of his wife, Trudy. Monk is
afraid of absolutely everything there is to be
anxious about, and wont go anywhere without
his nurse. Heights, germs, crowds, milk, and
driving all terrify him. You name it; hes
frightened to do it.
On the upside, Monk has a photographic memory
and is brilliant when it comes to catching the
bad guys. Despite the fact hes on
psychiatric leave from the police force,
hes a perfect character, er, totally flawed
Now take good ol "Columbo"
from many years ago. He was a damned annoying
character; dirty, scruffy, and in some ways
inconsistent. But he always got his man, er,
woman, er he definitely got the bad guy
every single time!
Lets now look at long-running television
series NYPD Blue: Detective Andy Sipowicz (Dennis
Franz) is a great cop. But hes got issues
his son is estranged, when it comes to his
personal life hes got no confidence in
himself, plus hes bald and overweight. But
we all love him! Why? Because hes the
underdog; were all egging him on, we
absolutely want him to achieve whatever it is he
In that same show, you will also find
Detective John Clark Jnr. (Mark-Paul Gosselaar).
His main issue is the fact that hes walking
in his famous police detective fathers
footsteps. Everything he does has to be as
perfect and brilliant as his father would do.
John Jnr. wants to live up to his fathers
achievements, but in endeavouring to achieve that
almost impossible task, he has many self-doubts.
Take a long hard look at your characters. Do
they reek of perfection? Ack! Give them a
dressing down, some bad qualities, and a few
ghastly habits that leave something to be
Make your characters perfectly