This week, Alida, Kathryn, and Robert discuss your character’s fatal flaw. This is critical to your character development, character arc, plot, and theme. So what is it and how do you get one?!




What is a fatal flaw? And how can you develop one for your character? How should the fatal flaw be resolved through your book or series? And how can you keep your characters irrational behavior believable to your readers? Remember that a stories endpoint and a flaws true resolution doesn’t have to be the same thing. Now dig deep into your characters past and find that fatal flaw!

What we talked about:

What is a fatal flaw? (0:20)

The problem of believability. (0:45)

The fatal flaw vs symptoms of the fatal flaw. (2:00)

The flaw should resolve by the end of your book or series. (4:30)

The fatal flaw must be connected to the character arc. (7:40)

The intertwining of the flaw and the plot. (9:17)

So how do you keep the fatal flaw believable? (10:50)

Keep the characters irrationality making sense to the reader. (12:30)

Your symptoms must make sense to the deeper wound. (14:18)

Why is it called the fatal flaw? (15:43)

Why one flaw? (18:58)

Your flaw and motivation tie into theme. (22:05)

What happens when you resolve the flaw? (23:00)

End-points vs full resolution. (24:15)

How to keep your character fixing their flaw across multiple books. (25:54)


Things we mentioned:

The Girl with all the Gifts 
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
The Emotional Wound Thesaurus by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman

Want more about these topics? Check out:

SWRT 028 Emotional Wound Thesaurus
SWRT 029 Emotional Wounds & Character Arcs

Have thoughts, questions, other examples? Join the conversation at the Story Works Writers Facebook group

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