Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Flawed Hero

Hi Everyone,

What is a flawed hero?  He is a man with flaws.  Simple! Everyone has flaws even our men. Even a hero in story if people are to relate to him.

In Webster’s Dictionary flawed means this: 1a. A defect in physical structure or form  1b. An imperfection or weakness and esp. that detracts from the whole or hinders effectiveness (vanity was the flaw in his character)

In the stories, I write none of my characters are flawless.  I need to know my characters flaws and strengths before I start a story. All movies and television shows have flawed characters the same as books.

One of my favorite shows, Covert Affairs on the USA channel has a flawed hero named Auggie.  Auggie is with the CIA, and he works with agents in the field from his desk.  He’s a computer nerd and he feeds information to the heroine who is out in the field. Sometimes, he even appears beside the heroine to help her. Auggie has two flaws, he’s blind and he’s a womanizer.  Being blind doesn’t stop him at all with the women or from doing his job.  Women are attracted to him because of his appearance (good looking), but doubly so when they realize he can’t see them.

One more thing about Auggie, he is not able to do everything that a person who sees can do, but his other senses are heightened, so what he does do is realistic.  One thing this program does is show that a blind person isn’t necessarily helpless. 

Another show, I enjoy is White Collar.  The hero is a con man, and he’s been in prison, but he’s released to the CIA to help solve other white collar crimes.  His flaw is he’s a con man (grin), but he has another one. He lost a woman, and he kept hunting for her until last season he learned the truth about her. Now, he’s moving on, but he’s got a secret, which could bring his life down again. He has decisions to make, and I hope he makes the right ones.

I’m going to use one of my books, The Catalyst, as an example of a flawed hero. His name is Walt. Walt is strong, was in the CIA but now works as head of security at a riverboat casino.  He has been in love with the casino owner since she was a kid, and he has never married or gone on with his life because of her.  This is his flaw to remain in a time warp waiting for her to come to him. True, she’s married, but what hero doesn’t take control, or is he right to wait. Patience is a virtue, isn’t it?

Jake, the hero in Addiction, is judgmental. He doesn’t like alcoholics and doesn’t believe the heroine can change. As the story unfolds, he grows to understand there are other reasons for the way she is, and vows to protect her from the serial killer who is after her.

In The Deceived, Mike has a lot of baggage going back to the loss of his parents. It is the reason he became an FBI agent. He works alone since he lost a partner he’d been involved with on a case.

Sometimes, the hero has minor defects in their character and often they have more than one.  To make our characters real, we must give them characteristics of real people. We give them strengths and weaknesses to deal with just like we do in our lives.\

Until next Sunday, enjoy your week. 

Sandra K. Marshall
Twitter - @SandraKMarshall


Stacey Joy Netzel said...

So true, Sandy, a perfect hero or heroine is boring. :)

Sandy said...

Thanks for stopping by, Stacey.

Paris said...

I have always loved a hero with an emotional flaw that the heroine helps him overcome or at least admit that he does need/want/deserve something he feels is out of his reach. Interesting blog!

Sandy said...

Thanks, Paris. I like a tortured hero like Auggie who overcomes a physical flaw.

Donna Marie Rogers said...

Yeah, I think I'd be pretty bored by a perfect hero. :-)

Sandy said...

Thanks, Donna. You and I know there are no perfect heroes not even in real life. lol

Marianne Stephens said...

Readers have to relate to our characters, and since no one is perfect, they need flaws.
Who would want to read about a perfect person with no reason to improve or show weaknesses needing a change?
We escape to fiction, but need to relate to characters we read about.

Sandy said...

Thanks, Marianne. So true, we would never be able to relate to a perfect person. Smile.

Christie Craig said...

Great post.

I too believe that our characters need to be flawed to be interesting. Readers don't like perfect people. LOL.


Sandy said...

Christie, you're right. Our readers don't like perfect people. lol Thanks for coming by.