The Novelry Blog

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How To Introduce a Character in a Novel Jun 27, 2021

...the Artful Flaw. 

From the Desk of Katie Khan

Lately, I’ve become obsessed with how we first meet our favourite characters. Whether they’re honourable, ethical good guys, or down-and-out criminals with a wicked streak, how we’re first introduced to our hero’s flaw will define the shape of the story. Whether the novel will arc upwards as their situation improves – or downwards in a dramatic fall from grace. 

Some common character flaws include our heroes being vain, conceited or narcissistic; lustful, libidinous or predatory; proud, deluded or boastful; angry, vengeful or rash. Your character might be more on the pathetic side of flawed – miserable, helpless and isolative; slothful, apathetic, small-minded or indifferent.

Choosing and revealing your character’s flaw is, I think, one of the hardest parts of writing a novel. It’s also the most open to misinterpretation. In early drafts we often create deeply unhappy, broken...

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