I can't believe I'm about to let you in on my secret. It's a secret I keep in mind and follow through with every ms. Maybe you already know it and are holding onto it hoping no one else figures out your brilliance. But this is a place for sharing, growing, and encouraging, so I'm gonna let you in on my secret as long as you promise not to tell. Now lean in closer while I whisper all these goodies into your ear.
I have long been a die hard SUPERNATURAL fan! Since season one I can't get enough of the witty dialogue between those two brothers. At first, I'll admit it, I was a bit of a Sam fangirl. But it didn't take me long to realize where my heart belonged... Dean. Yep. I love me some Dean. Why, you ask. Oh, that's easy--because he's a jerk. Yeah, that's right. He's the one with no filter who says whatever he feels like saying, and quite often it is rude and insensitive--but it is always funny and perfect and I love him for it.
You know who else I love? Bobby. Yep. That smelly, old, drunk who's mean as hell. Why do I love him? Oh that's easy, because you always know where you stand with Bobby. He's loyal to the point of death, but even on his death bed would never be caught saying some stupid sappy, mumbo-jumbo. He's that loathable character that YOU LOVE. Just like Dean.
Now onto THE WALKING DEAD. I'll give you one guess who my favorite character is. *plays elevator music* Did you guess it? It's Daryl. 100% Daryl. Why? Because he's so mean. And unlike Dean and Bobby, I do question Daryl's motives. And with each episode I'm on the edge of my seat wondering what this bipolar character is gonna do next. He's so raw. He's not some perfect superhero. He's angry, and violent, and tough, but then he does caring things and I keep holding out hope that he's gonna stay good, even though he seems to teeter towards darkness quite often.
So, what's the secret you ask? Well it's like this. STOP writing perfect men! Please, just stop. I hate to read about them and I hate to watch them. I want the imperfect jerk. And he doesn't have to be the MC to pack a punch. In my last fantasy WIP one of my favorite characters was a supporting character. He was always rude, and down right mean. He was funny, but rude. My MC hated him and at times I kinda had a love-hate for him. And even as I wrote him I never quite knew which side he'd end up on. He was that good guy who seemed to be on the wrong side. Even my cp loved him.
Either make your likable characters hatable at the same time, or make your bad guys have a good side. OR BOTH. Keep the reader guessing and keep your characters flawed. Have one character with no filter--it always adds humor. (I LOVE no filter moments!!! I call it mouth diarrhea:) Every book should have one character who suffers from this! Have one character switch sides in a total double take, you never saw it coming. Have a character we love do something we hate!!!! Have a character we hate do something we love!! Keep it spicy. And yes, this rule should apply across the board for all genres.
You're welcome. Now. Go. Write. Be brilliant.