Supporting Flawed Characters

Men are strong and powerful, protective, and sometimes destructive in order to create, right? Not always. Sometimes, men become emotional. Some men avoid conflict rather than rush toward it. These men are too worried about the here and now to plan for the future—in relationships, financial matters, careers, and everything in between.

For these men, their aversion to conflict creates a tendency to be observant—too observant. They notice small changes—anything out of the norm. Emotional tension, especially from a partner, is conflict and they take everything personal. Nearly always, these men will bend over backward to please and often become annoyed, or worse—manipulative and passive-aggressive, when unspoken desires are not fulfilled by their partners. They operate from a belief that they have done x, and y and therefore deserve z without having to ask for it. Because asking is weak.

Conversations with these men are often fun and sometimes quirky, but never deep, especially about themselves. They prefer to remain closed rather than open themselves to criticism and pain.

When writing scenes, keep in mind these tendencies. Believe it or not, a male character who is not the alpha-male might just win over your critics because even supporting characters have flaws. It makes them real.