I’m working on a project and like all of my projects I start with an outline. In the outline for this project, I noticed that the main character goes through some things that make him look foolish and weak; in fact he looks extremely weak. My initial thought was to change the parts of the outline and sequentially the story to make the main character seem wise, strong, and incapable of being mistreated. Basically, I wanted him to be perfect.
Then something said to me, “Don’t change a thing.” The more I pondered it, the more it made sense to leave the outline as it is and therefore portray the main character of the story as indeed flawed emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Why should I try to paint this perfect person, this hero that’s all powerful and ultra-cool, this suave cat that cannot be duped? He should be who is. In the end, his imperfections will make for a great story of redemption and if nothing else, the story will be entertaining.
In writing fiction I create characters, give them names, physical attributes, and personalities. Even though the stories, characters, and locales are completely created by me, the author, I do not take this creation lightly. Authenticity is key. That is why you find authors like Eric Jerome Dickey actually spending time in cities that he uses as settings for his novels. You want the reader to feel that what they’re reading is believable. So the character of this upcoming project will be imperfect because we all have sinned and fallen short of glory. And the imperfections of this main character, freely displayed by his author, should make for a perfectly interesting story.