CRAFT YOUR WEDNESDAYS

Flaws

Courtney and Jack met at a friends wedding. They hit it off right away. Each one laughed harder than they had in a while.  They danced the night away and developed an undeniable connection. But, when the night came to an end and Jack asked for Courtney’s number, she declined to give it to him. Stunned, Jack’s only words were “If this was truly meant to be, we’ll meet again someday.”

Why did Courtney refuse to give Jack her number? One would conclude this to be a scenario of a lifetime. Girls live for a fairytale moment such as this.  From a broader perspective, she was foolish not to pursue this. Although Courtney wanted to give Jack her number, she just couldn’t bring herself to do it.  Her flaw of envy held her back.

When she first arrived at the wedding, her eyes darted to a handsome man, Jack, and since then, she couldn’t take her eyes off of him. But the problem was, neither could all the other girls in attendance. Courtney noticed the girls all trying their best to flirt with him and get to know him. This triggered her to become envious.  Although the other girls flocked to Jack, he noticed only Courtney and gravitated toward her. Despite their surreal night, her flaw stood in the way of a potential relationship.

Everyone deals with flaws on a daily basis.  When trying to give a character of a book, a TV show, or film, depth, the writer should include the flaws as well as the positive characteristics.

A flaw is a self-focused trait that does not take into account the well being of others, damages or minimizes relationships, and holds the character back in some way (denying self-growth). Flaws develop as a result of painful past experiences, reshaping a person’s view of this world and the people in it. The skewed vision will leak into all the interactions with others from then on and drive future actions.

When Courtney saw that the other girls were gravitating toward him and flirting with him, it triggered her to become more emotionally sensitive in that situation. Her flaw hadn’t always been there but developed over time because of many painful past experiences. The fact that boys always passed on her when she was younger and went for the more attractive girls, made her feel less desirable.  The accumulation of many similar painful moments resulted in Courtney developing this flaw.

Sometimes, flaws become so deeply imbedded that they prevent the character from ever growing or moving forward. The person becomes stuck, because the possibility of being hurt again is so incomprehensible. Fear has defeated.

As a result of her past pain, Courtney has now taken charge of situations like this one at the wedding. But to her own detriment, she is not capable of ever entering a relationship due to her pain of the past.

If Courtney were a character in a story, her flaw wouldn’t be visible right away. She would seem flawless, perfect and have no sense of depth. But the moment she declines to take things further with Jack is the moment conflict is created.  Now, the question of why she refused to give him her number must be answered. This is the time that tension is created and the reader/viewer will begin to relate to her struggle. If she eventually overcomes her flaw, there will be a vicarious payoff for the audience when she succeeds.

Courtney and Jack might actually end up together.

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