On Writing Imperfect Characters

Hello again! Welcome back.

This week I want to talk about writing imperfect characters.

When I was fresh with the idea of my book, writing characters was difficult yet fun. Bringing Antarman to life was filled with so many emotions and prospects that it did not seem hard. As a result, when I had to think of new characters to counter Antarman or just have his family around him, it was difficult because I didn’t know what to do.

I read articles, books, and watched writing videos to know how to write characters that are not your protagonist. For reasons unknown to me, all of the aspiring writers wanted to write culturally diverse books, regardless of their story and genre, and I think it was a desperate to attempt to not offend anyone that they went way out of their comfort zone, measuring each word so as to not hurt anyone. We have all grown up in the same patriarchal society, regardless of our religion, and we would be fooling ourselves if we presume to not have a scintilla of sexism in us. A lot of it is ingrained. When I wrote Antarman and was almost done writing Shiksha, his wife, it came to me that he is sexist. Although he is somewhat of a good guy, never even thought of doubting Shiksha’s calibre or questioning if she would work after marriage – considering it a normal thing for her to work – just as he does, he is sexist because he is the man of the house and likes to have the upper hand. He is letting her work and do what she likes, yet wants all of it to be done under his supervision. In short, he is a slightly open-minded sexist. Furthermore, when I was writing Shiksha’s backstory with him, there were many moments where he mansplained (I hate this term).

This made me think, should I get rid of these sexist traits? I decided not to, because this subtle sexism is one of the things that makes him be so real, and Shiksha is subtly sexist too. As I wrote more characters, I noticed that all of them were racist and/or sexist to some level. They were open about certain things but snapped immediately at others, and that is what made them humans for me; those people I can relate to, because these kinds of people exist.

Even personally, I haven’t met a single person who is absolutely non-sexist and non-racist. These are some of the flaws that make us humans in our modern society. For this story, I have written strong women, strong men, weak women, and weak men, simply because that’s how they came to my mind. I did not add sexism intentionally as their trait based on their sex; it’s one of the traits they grew up with and I am not ashamed to acknowledge and accept them.

As a writer, I don’t think I can ever write perfect a human being like many of the aspiring writers dream to.

Moving ahead, I have talked a lot about my writing but haven’t shared anything I have written yet.

Today I’ll be sharing one of my favourite short stories. It was supposed to be my entry for a writing competition but it got cancelled and I have the story with me. It’s titled ‘The Fraternity’ (link at the end of the blog) and it is a psychological thriller. Let me know in the comments down below what you think of it.

That’s it for this Sunday. I have to prepare for my exam on 21st.

Thank you for reading. I will see you next Sunday. Leaving you with a song I found recently and loved at the first listen.

 

 

 

[Short Story]: The Fraternity

 

Feature Image Source: https://goo.gl/2Nm78E

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