Originally posted in October:
CLARIFICATION: If you don't know, Cheerwine is a kind of soda. The bottle tops are quite fun to take photos of, though. And pennies may or may not be fun to throw into the bottles.
One thing I love, and my friend Alley will be one of the first to mention it, is broken characters. Characters with interesting pasts. Take this time to decide on whatever you think interesting entails and go with it. There, blog post complete.
I like a character with a past. I mean, what's the point of having an utterly perfect character? Not saying you can't have one, but observation has shown me that readers/viewers tend to go for the broken characters as their favorites.
Unless you're a so called "hot" Edward Cullen. Then you'll get a bunch of screaming fan girls along with the solemn mix of gagging girls and guys who don't get the draw.
Take Avatar: The Last Airbender as an example. Popular cartoon that draws in young children, teens, and even some adults. Why? The characters rocked and the storyline was epic. Just saying. But can anyone guess who most people's favorite character was? The broken one.
Zuko, was, as one of my friends says, a character you knew you should hate but you can't help but root for. He came from a nation that claimed was bringing other nations greatness. AKA: Warfare. His mother vanished when he was young, and he had to live with a father who rather disliked him and claimed that "he was lucky to have been born." He also had to deal with the "perfect" sister who, though younger, was a prodigy and excelled past him. But, at the age of thirteen, he had an accident in which he spoke out of turn over something he knew was wrong. According to the laws of his nation, that meant he had to duel the man he had offended. But the man he had truly offended, if you went up the line, was his father. When he found his father being his opponent, he refused to fight. His father called him a coward and burned the side of his face, leaving him with a permanent scar.
Not the photo I would've preferred putting, since he doesn't usually smile, but I didn't have a large selection.
After this, his father banished him (oh, his dad might've been the ruler of the nation. Forgot to mention that. *shakes head at herself*) saying he was a disgrace and that the only way he could return was if he found and captured the Avatar, a man who had vanished for 100 years.
In all honesty, and in a way that I assure you is not creepy, he was one of my favorite parts of the show. In books, and in my writing, I like broken characters. Characters who've had hard lives. Lives that might not be figured out at first glance, but make them who they are. They're those characters that you just want to reach into the pages and hug because they're so hopelessly lost/unhappy/hurt/varies_per_character.
So, all I'm trying to say is don't forget your character's past. The way I've seen it, Ms. Perfect probably isn't perfect. You may find that out about two years after you met her, but she's got a past. Some dark secret. Something that's changed her life forever. Maybe nothing visible like an external scar, but those inward scars on your heart that you can't erase, even if you can hide them.
What past does your character have?
-Silence K. Grulkey