on Fiction University:
Choose the right flaws and weaknesses to round out your characters.
There’s an old saying: “I’m not looking for the perfect man, just one with faults I like.” No clue where I heard this, but it always stuck with me, because it’s so true. Everyone has faults, and some are more palatable than others.
This is true for our characters, too. Their flaws and weaknesses make them three-dimensional people readers can relate to and root for. They also allow our characters to make the mistakes and bad choices that lead to compelling plots.
But picking any old flaw isn’t going to cut it. Who cares if the protagonist can’t cook if cooking never matters to the story? So what if they can’t commit if they’re never asked to? It’s important to choose flaws and weaknesses that add to the overall novel.