To be honest, I don’t write about them. I always try to make them complicated. To make their lives complicated. And always, to give them things they strongly feel about but they can’t have.But there is one thing that I will write, is grounded realistic characters. People who make mistakes, just like how history has great people who were not free from flaws. They were still amazing, but without a doubt you can never understand them if you do not know the mistakes they have made.Even for heroes, I tend to like to make them more realistic. To give them reasonable motives to suggest that they are doing this for a reason, not because they are naturally selfless, good or kind. None of that, perhaps it plays a part, perhaps it doesn’t. But there is always a core motive behind their intentions.I mean, wouldn’t it be boring to read about a person so kind and good that they are perfect. That is the definition of a Mary Sue or Gary Stu. For a child, that would be perfectly fine, if you want to. But I relish the idea of flaws, the fact that no hero is truly a hero all the time.And why perfection is honestly boring. There is a few books which break this role, but the characters are stuck in impossible situations, and stretches the limits and tests the waters. The Martian is one of them. But it works since honestly in that scenario, would you like to read about a guy moping around waiting for death.But if the work is not that, where the characters are alone, and are expected to literally do something absolutely insane. Then the rules do kind of apply.
Because if we have a woman, who has everyone falling for them, who can do no wrong, and does everything perfectly. Even running an entire country, or creating an utopia. You will kind of get bored and raise your eyebrow and close the book. Same for the other way around.
But if you were to do the same, except remove the fact that she achieves and that it is her dream, one that she consistently struggles against, one that she always and never manages to do that. But still never giving up and at great personal cost. That is still more entertaining.Because reading books is about the struggle, not about the achievement. We like to see them do amazing things, but we don’t want it handed to them, we want them to fight, sweat, bleed and cry for it. Just like how we do when we want something or are chasing out dreams.