What issues do your characters have?
Oh, I'm not talking about the fact that Character A made the fashion faux pas of wearing white socks with dress pants and shoes - the horrors. I'm talking about the issues that make your characters a) more human and b) relateable.
Lynn Price over at Behler Blog did a great post about Character development - Ken and Barbive vs. The Seven Deadly Sins. Go check it out!!
The post talks about the importance of character development. Go on - check it out!
Now that you've checked it out . . .
. . . let me tell you a bit about my characters: they're flawed! Yup, flawed. They're far from perfect.
My characters . . .
. . . have receding hairlines. Yup!
. . . have weight issues.
. . . have money issues.
. . . have other issues.
I have a character who, just upon seeing a cookie, has fat cells that go into a multiplying frenzy similar to the feeding frenzy of piranhas when a stray cow happens to fall into their path!
My characters are far from perfect.
Okay, I've had a perfect character . . . or twelve, make an appearance in my writing. It happens. Perfect hair. Perfect teeth. Perfect life. Perfect relationship. Blah, blah, blah.
Personally, I don't want to read about perfect people who have their lives perfectly together.
I have bad hair days. Boy, do I have some bad hair days.
My characters have bad hair days as well. My characters step in cat vomit that squishes up between their toes and make them curse their cat. Yes, that character is based more than a bit on my real life. Dang cat, throwing up just where I'll step on it in the dark. She's sneaky, my Squeaky! Ha!
Nobody, not nobody, has a perfect life, and the characters we create shouldn't - aside from the imperfection of the main conflict of the story - have a perfect life either.
What fun is perfection?
What fun is having an unrelateable character?
You know what I love about the character Stephanie Plum - created by the amazing Janet Evanovich? She can barely make ends meet and often, the only thing in her refrigerator is peanut butter, bread, and olives so she can make herself a peanut butter and olive sandwich. Eeeew! She also, more days than not, has bad hair days. Woo-hoo for bad hair days. She struggles to make ends meet, she has a dysfunctional family, and . . . I can relate to the character.
I want to relate to the characters I read about . . . on some level.
So, what issues do your characters have? Are they too perfect? Do they suffer from the Barbie and Ken Syndrome? If so, perhaps you need to add some flaws to your characters.
Just saying . . .