When planning my Beauty and the Beast story, I was thinking about fatal flaws for my characters. For inspiration, I checked out what TVtropes had to say on the subject. And I realized that most of my main characters share a fatal flaw: personal loyalty.
Or, as Hermione calls it, a “saving people thing.” Harry would go to any lengths to save his friends, even if it meant not saving the world. He gets in massive trouble in Order of the Phoenix, when Voldemort takes advantage of his “saving people thing” to lure him to the Ministry of Magic. And, spoiler alert, Sirius dies for it.
The flaw of personal loyalty must really speak to me, because I never realized that this was a trait my characters shared. My Beauty and the Beast character would do anything for her friends. My suspense protagonist would do anything for her sister.
But this trait is closest to an actual flaw in the main character of my upcoming novel, The Narrator. Prince Calder has a “saving people thing,” same as Harry. He’ll move the world to save his friends. But he also fights to save anyone in trouble, from princesses to minstrels.
And, of course, the narrator is able to manipulate him as easily as Voldemort manipulated Harry.
Yeah. You should be nervous.
Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.