I was browsing some interesting new writer’s blogs and one I came across had an interesting bit posted on their sidebar. Plot Whisperer had a tweet posted regarding character flaws and if you can’t find one then she suggests that you use one of your own.
I was challenged recently to make my main character in my novel weirder. Assuming this means to give her more realistic character traits. And with this I struggle. I know pretty much everything about her but yet to come up with a little tick that she might have, maybe she’s a little OCD, it just doesn’t fit for me. I have been thinking about all the weird things I do, all the weird things my friends or family do. But I just can’t pinpoint one single thing and I don’t want to overdo it by making her too weird.
In essence, she’s a normal girl. Maybe I should say, average girl. But we all have little things that make us unique. For example, I can’t stand the crinkly sound a plastic bag makes when you touch it. It’s like running nails down a chalkboard. But I don’t think that’s going to fit into my story at all. There would be no reason to introduce that type of information. She can’t stand really outgoing people and that does come out. Not that she is really that introverted but they just annoy her. She can’t sit in a chair unless it’s facing a wall. But it’s not enough.
And then, how do I make her a character that the reader is going to empathize with? One person I talked to mentioned that he did not particularly like this character. He couldn’t understand why she was cold and seemingly heartless. But that information comes out. Other people have felt sorry for her. Female readers. Is that the difference between male and female readers? Will one be more sympathetic and should we actually try to make the character a person that any sex can relate to?