Wednesday, August 1, 2012

No one likes perfect...

We think we do, but we don't. No one REALLY likes perfect. Perfect is boring. And perfect characters in a novel are like a coffin nail.

Readers want relatable. So think real life.

For instance, I know a Christian girl who got into an argument with her husband. She just KNEW she was right. She even had Scriptures to prove it. But her husband didn't see it that way. It was a really frustrating situation. Another Christian friend said to her "Guess it's time to start praying for conviction for your husband, and let God handle it." The girl said "You're right. And I will. I'm just still in the 'praying he stubs his toe' stage."

Ha!

That's real life. That's not being perfect. And I bet we've all had similar situations/conversations like that one :)  So put that into your characters. How SHOULD your characters respond to an event? Think about that, then maybe do the opposite. Or do what your first instinct is, you know - that first instinct we have like "toe-stubbing-girl" that we as Christians typically turn off because we know it's not the right thing to do/say. Have your characters do it or say it!

THAT is worth reading.

Christian fiction already has a bad rap for being predictable, preachy, or perfect. Unrealistic characters. Cookie cutter characters who do the perfect thing that no one can relate to.

Let's show them they're wrong :)

6 comments:

  1. Perfect...I mean, uh....

    I've been trying to find a flaw for one of my characters, afraid he's a little too perfect. But if it's as simple as some toe-stubbing arguments, a bit of frustration and pushing the envelope for answers....that would make sense. Just imperfect, not necessarily with major issues cramping his life...right?

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  2. Right! If it doesn't make sense for him to have some big conflict of his own in the story, then show his imperfections in his dialogue or internal thoughts, if he's a point of view character. Just think real. If you're writing a Christian fiction story, then have him struggle with the same doubts or temptations all Christians in real life struggle with :) Don't let his advice or his words be too goody goody perfect, if that's his role in the story. Just think three dimensional. All characters should have flaws, and good traits - whether that's bad guys or heroines or heroes or side characters.

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  3. I like the stubbing toe story :) I think those things bit have a hard time saying them aloud, lol!

    I had an epiphany last night. I struggle to stick with a story or even start writing them bc I'm not totally fired up and you always told "writing the story on your heart" a story that "won't leave you alone". I thought there was something wrong with me bc that hasn't happened. Maybe I need to write the ok stories until that happens, bloomed where im planted?! And maybe in that proccess I'll weed out the bad ones and find a story that won't leave me alone

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  4. That was really you praying wasn't it? ;)

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  5. HAHA Bekah just saw your new blog name. You are SO gonna Google hits. hahahahaha

    Tonya, that sounds perfect :) Maybe it will take writing the "just okay" stories to find your passion. Then you'll be ready!!!

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  6. I definitely struggle with having too many "perfect" characters. I guess it's like the way parents like to paint their children. All kids have flaws, but when parents get together and talks about their kids, those flaws don't always get... umm... mentioned. ;)

    Now for a question. Could y'all maybe discuss setting sometime? Writing books always talk about how amateur writers often neglect the setting of their stories. Most people usually have the "who" and "what," but the "when" and "where" sometimes get overlooked, apparently. Any tips on "setting the stage"?

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