I’m new to this whole writing business, and when I first heard about character flaws, I thought they were some way the author messed up writing their character…I had no idea they were what drove the story.
I recently attended a novel boot camp by Ellen Brock, a freelance editor, and she gave a great few lectures (on You Tube) about creating a protagonist people will want to read about. After listening to her instruction, I sought out some info on the web and have come up with this worksheet to help me identify character flaws in my protagonists, I hope it helps you too. When you are done with this, head over to my Story Structure Worksheet.
- What is the lie your character believes?
- My character believes she will never give her heart away again, it has been broken and she has no desire to relive that experience again. She is content living her life alone, with only the love from the past.
- Where did this lie come from, what is it’s origin?
- When her boyfriend died in an accident, she feels her heart tear in two. She believes she can never feel that way about another person again, so why try?
- What is the truth?
- When she meets the right person, her heart will heal from the past and she is capable of loving just as deeply again.
- What goal does your protagonist have? (this is fairly superficial and easily identifiable)
- She wants to find peace.
- What is your character’s motivation behind this goal?
- She thinks finding peace will allow her to move on with her life, not necessarily find love again, but help her from the depression she has fallen into over the loss of her loved one. With peace she can at least be a productive member of society, like her father taught her.
- Now put all of your information into one complete sentence or a couple.
- After the death of her high school sweetheart, Sarah is content believing her heart will never love again. She only wants to find peace with Jeremy’s loss, so she travels to the California coast where she meets a green-eyed surfer under the Pismo Beach Pier. From the moment his green eyes meet hers, everything she once thought to be true about her past begins to unravel.
Character Arc Worksheet PDF Version
Character Arc Worksheet Microsoft Word Version