So, there are a lot of ways to go about building characters. You can base them on people that you know, or exaggerated ideals. You can make them to fit a special need in your writing, or you can imagine a crazy society and ask yourself what would come about because of that.
Sometimes, though, what I find myself with are too-perfect characters. I make them, not into reflections of myself, but reflections of who I’d like to be. I make them the ideal human, then wonder why nobody can relate to them.
Well, if you ever find yourself with a character that you think might be just a little bit too perfect, here’s something you can try: ask yourself what their favorite sin is.
There are seven deadly sins, let me see if I can list them all:
Now,as I understand it, there are people out there who have managed to completely rid themselves of one or maybe two of these, but let’s be honest here, for the rest of us, all seven are pretty big. But the thing you have to keep in mind is that everyone has at least one of these that is there go-to sin. Or, if you’re not a fan of the word ‘sin,’ let’s call it imbalance. Whatever name you give it, it comes back to the same thing: There’s something in you that drives you to behave foolishly.
Pick one, give it to your character, and whenever you write that character, remember that failing and make a point of bringing it out a bit. It’s a fantastic way to make your characters be just a little more human, when you would otherwise be writing them as minor gods.