1.- Talking too much. Specifically, with adults. I see this a lot with hyperactive children. But a lot of us don’t grow out of this and I want my representation! Plus, this can be very fun and useful! You can use it for exposition and world building. It leaves plenty of room to hide small details. It also can give a lot of context about other character’s around them.
When they start talking word after word for about a hundred words more than necessary to say they are happy, do the other character’s seem entertained? Annoyed but say nothing? Annoyed and say it? Do they look like they’re not listening? Do they look like they’re listening but later on we find out they’re just really good at pretending to listen? So many possibilities! And how does the original character react to this?
2.- Being terrible with names. I mean, as someone who once forgot the name of a co-worker I saw every day and had been working with for years, it’s kinda upsetting when character’s in books just hear it once and remember.
Especially when I’m just dying to be reminded this character’s name because I forgot. It’s not only a very relatable character flaw, it’s useful for reminding readers of who’s who! Something a lot of authors don’t do enough of (including me, I know my characters better than my co-workers, so of course it’s obvious to me).
3.- Hoarding. Not like to the point where’s it’s dangerous and a problem that needs to be solved, but to the point where you have a shoe box full of receipts from seven years ago for stuff that never had a guarantee. To the point where you have leaflets from concerts you went to at the age of ten and can’t throw away “because of the memories!” To the point where you have magazines because, “look at the pretty pictures! I can use that in scrap booking somewhere… some day.” Or stickers from when you were five years old that won’t even stick anymore.
Again, lots of people do this, it’s relatable, but also, it gives you lots of opportunities to show us stuff about the character, about their past and how they’ve changed with time. Natural exposition baby!
4.- Gets anxious when there’s too much noise, or too many people. Not as a plot point, not as a symptom of autism or something. Just normal, over stimulation. Because over stimulation can happen to anybody, and our ability to withstand it is different.
This too can be useful, it can be a good way to separate two characters from the group. “Oh, I’ll go with her, you guys stay, don’t worry!”
Also, it’d be nice to see a character realise the environments not good for them, communicate that calmly and leave before over stimulation. Like, you think after years of this shit I don’t know before things get too bad? You’d be right sometimes, but not all times. Sometimes I know my limits, and I never see that in media (if you know any media that does do this, tell me!).
5.- Having zero sense of direction. Because after four years I still manage to get lost on my own street if I come in from a direction that isn’t the one I use every day and again, I want representation.
Plus, you can have character’s get lost (especially in fantasy worlds with no GPS) as a way to discover new locations or send other characters to find them.
I hope you found at least one of these ideas useful. Or, they inspired you to think of other good and not often seen character flaws.
I want to state that I’ve used the word character “flaw” but that might not be entirely accurate for some of these I just can’t think of a more accurate word right now.
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Which one of these can apply to one of you characters? What flaws did I miss out?