Have you hit a brick wall when it comes to character development? This was the stage that I was working on over the weekend. I was actually working on the background to the story and my character backgrounds, but this topic falls right in line with what I was trying to accomplish.
Most people I talk to about character expect you to put out a hero that has some flaws. In fact, as I dive into the writing world, this is a must. You want your hero to have some flaws to their character that they either need to overcome to accomplish the goals you have laid out in the story or that keep them from being the perfect human being (or whatever your character is) that are in fairy tales. Let’s face it, no one is perfect. Your characters should not be either. The more you make them like the people you see in everyday life, the easier it is for your reader to associate themselves with your characters.
However the hero isn’t the only person in the story that needs to have flaws. Your antagonist also needs to have flaws to this character. I know everyone wants to produce a character that is delightfully evil, but you need to create some human traits to your bad guy so that the character becomes believable. Through the use of character traits you can create a bad guy that has a conscience or maybe even a character that hates the fact that he is doing what he is forced to do. By creating this type of character it forces the reader to attach a human side to both the hero and the antagonist.