Flaws, fear, and weaknesses add depth to characters because people have all three of these things. A character without them is bland…generic…unreal. A character with them is fascinating, relate-able, and real. So let’s take a look at all three:
There are a couple of different flaws that people have. One is physical flaws and the second is personality flaws.
Physical flaws – No one has a perfect body. Not even models. I have big feet and hands, plus a foot-long scar and a bad back. One of your characters could have a crooked tooth, a bump on his/her nose, or a facial mole she hates. We all have something we consider a flaw or (at least) don’t like about ourselves.
Personality flaws – Now this one will require you to get into your characters' heads and get to know them more. A personality flaw could be stubbornness, impatience, narcissism, or quick-temperedness. Your character can have any of these or any other personality flaw.
We all have a fear or two or ten. A fear can be of anything such as a fear of spiders, heights, clowns, or fires. Then there are inner fears and fears that relate to real life. Like the fear of losing a loved one, dying because of cancer, unemployment or homelessness, or opening yourself up to love.
A fear can literally be anything, so figure out your characters’ fears and exploit them. Also highlight a small fear. Ex: Have a spider crawl on your MC. And use a bigger fear in the plot as something your MC has to overcome.
A weakness isn’t just chocolate. It can be a physical or mental weakness. One of your character’s fears can be a weakness. I have a physical weakness due to spine surgery. Your character can have a physical weakness because of a health problem (diabetes, asthma, etc.). You character can also have a mental weakness such as a psychological disorder. A weakness can even be a person or a weapon if you’re writing a paranormal/sci-fi story.
TIP: Use your character’s weakness to create conflict and character depth.
QUESTION: What are your flaws, fears, and weaknesses?