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Discussion Highlights: Weak vs. Weakly-Written Characters

Last Week’s Discussion:
Weak vs. Weakly-Written

We’ve discussed strong characters. Now it’s time to discuss weak characters and their differences with weakly-written characters, because this can make or break a book and an author. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of discussioners who agreed with me on the topic. Though, not all agreed with my examples. :p Let’s take a look!

Carla Louise said:

“‘Weak’ characters aren’t actually bad. […] I think the problem is when a ‘weak’ character is poorly written.”

Bookmark Chronicles said:

“I also don’t think that I read about weak characters often (or that I just don’t see them that way). The only character that I would consider weak is Aimee from The Spectacular Now, she let’s too many people walk all over her and doesn’t know how to make decisions for herself or how to put herself first.”

DMWiltshire said:

“I find most ‘weak’ characters are more real. They have more regular human traits and their point of view is usually in line with what the reader is thinking. It is nice to pretend we are the main character but the weak characters are in a sense more normal.”

This week was fantastic and I especially loved all the examples the discussioners provided of ‘weak’ characters. It seems the weak characters tend to be the ones we love more. Perhaps we love them because the flaws that make them weak characters make them more realistic and relatable.

Flawed characters also promise the reader that the character has a direction in which they can grow. It’s surely an interesting idea and I hope this helps readers and writers to pick out and appreciate ‘weak’ characters over ‘weakly-written’ characters!


Check out this week’s discussion on Thursday at 10am EST:
Gender Double Standards(in Literature)

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8 thoughts on “Discussion Highlights: Weak vs. Weakly-Written Characters”

    1. I’m not sure who Wesley Crusher is. (Star Trek was a little before my time. >.>)
      However, lack of weakness in characters is also one of the reasons so many people are annoyed with Superman right now (or any of the superheroes really). I get that they are MCs and to kill one off would end part of the series, but knowing that each character is going to live until the end makes it a little anti-climatic for many viewers/readers.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! Fiction isn’t meant to be completely impossible. It’s supposed to mirror reality in a way that stretches the mind and the imagination (at least in my opinion). Therefore, all aspects of life and types of people should be represented in fiction like they are in real life.

      Thank you for your comment! I hope you join in more discussions in the future!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. One recent “weak” character that really got to me was Laia from An Ember in the Ashes. She’s quite cowardly, has no fighting skills, and is generally quite soft-spoken.
    In my opinion, she has very little to offer in the beginning, but as we read on we realize how much inner strength she has, and how perservering she is. She also suffers a major growth as a character.
    So even though I didn’t actually like her, I empathized with her and was glad that a protagonist could be this flawed and unlikeable.
    She was very fleshed out, and the author managed to make her believable and consistent throughout, which was a big accomplishment. A weak character, but not a weakly-written one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah! This is what I love to hear! Everyone loves an underdog story, which is why many protagonists start out as weak characters to become strong characters. However, more often than not, it’s done incorrectly. To find good examples of this growth is fantastic! It’s a key to being a good writer! I’m so happy you shared this! (Even if I haven’t read that book yet. :p)

      Side Note: I personally want to see more ‘weak’ characters saving the day. Or perhaps accidentally saving the day. I’m sick of the tropes. I want to be surprised.

      Like

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