V is for Vulnerability.
Margaret talks about vulnerable heroes
It’s important when we’re creating heroes that we don’t make them too perfect. They need to have the fears and vulnerabilities we all have. If not, readers will struggle to find them believable.
It could be because of past hurts. Maybe they’ve been let down badly and find it hard to trust again. Or maybe they’ve been misinformed about the other person which again makes them wonder whether they can be trusted. All sorts of scenarios come to mind but the one thing that remains clear is we need flawed characters.
It’s hard to believe a hero, usually someone very successful, would have these flaws, but vulnerability is part of everyone’s make up and the fun part in writing is giving our fictional characters these same fears. Not that they’ll ever admit it, even on paper! But the reader needs to know. As writers we must show their unguarded moments and their quiet introspection.
It’s actually quite fun creating such heroes, but I have sometimes said that they’re not the sort of person I’d like to meet in real life. How about you, would you like to meet fictional heroes, or do you think it’s best they remain paper?