the song is so perfect for them

The 3 Elements of a FLAWED Character

You know that moment when you find an old notebook, and you start reading the story you were writing years ago, and after about one page…  

And then after a few more paragraphs … 

This has happened to me several times. On every occasion I want to curl up in a small box and wait until everyone forgets I was ever a writer. And every time, no matter which old story it is, what sends me crawling into that box is the same thing: the main character. Even after I had learned to incorporate empathetic qualities into my heroes (as listed in the last post), my protagonists were still deeply annoying – if not more unbearable than before. 

Why? What made them this way? They had winningly empathetic traits! Were they terrible people still? No, and that was the problem. They were perfect. Smart. Noble. Brave. They had dazzling martial arts skills. They loved people and people loved them. They were Chosen in some way and destined for greatness. Angst-plagued though, of course. They were tragic little heroes, misunderstood and abused, driven by the desire to vanquish all who caused them suffering.  

I could’ve composed a Gaston-like song enumerating their virtues and sorrows. 

And the only thing that would’ve made them more punchable is if they did use antlers in all of their decorating.

Characters can’t be completely likable. Yes, they must possess strengths that win the reader’s empathy, but without an equal amount of flaws … they can’t function. If they’re not flawed, they shouldn’t be the main character. Story is about someone changing, for better or worse. Under the surface, all good stories are about this process of human growth or decline. So if a hero is perfect from the beginning, there’s nowhere they need to go. And consequently, there’s no reason for a reader to follow. 

The inclination to follow a story is begun with interest in the premise, of course – but it is locked in when empathy occurs, when we begin to care – the moment the reader transposes their own external and internal lives onto a character’s life. A process which starts when a reader recognizes a shared something between themselves and the hero. Sometimes, this is a goal or strength or situation. And sometimes, it’s a flaw. We meet a character that is weak in the same way we are, and a strong internal connection is born between the reader’s life and the life on the page. On a deep level we’re thinking “This person is like me. What happens to them? How do they deal with it?” And because of this connection based on what is lacking in our lives, we want to live the story, see how it ends, and find out how the main character – who is just like us – reached that ending. Because it’s our lives we’re reading about, and if we play it out in advance, maybe we can reach a positive ending too. 

So! In what way should a main character be FLAWED? 

1) Weak in a way that only hurts themselves. 

Let’s call these MIND.

2) Flawed in a way that hurts others. 

Let’s call these MORAL.

The most realistic – and most compelling – characters have both types.  

And if a character has these flaws, the story must be steering them towards what they NEED to overcome them. The main character needs to learn something, a truth, a new way to live. This is the theme of the story. Theme is a statement the story seeks to prove, to the main character and the reader, about how to live a better life. It’s the solution to whatever moral and mental conundrum they’re facing. So … 

3) The SOLUTION to their moral and mental weaknesses. 

How does that work? To illustrate, let’s look at Stitch and Alexander Hamilton. (What a combination.) 

STITCH

Moral: He’s destructive. Violent. Rude. Vindictive.  Manipulative. Enjoys the suffering of his enemies.

 And in general, pushes everyone and everything away.  

Mind: Despite his violent ways, he yearns to belong, and senses that he can’t.

He believes he’s alone, he’s unlovable, he’s monstrous, he’s never had a family and never will – he’s lost, like the Ugly Duckling. He’s missing a family he’s never had.  

Solution: He just needs to start treating people like family to be accepted into one. 

HAMILTON

Moral: He’s selfish. (“Be careful with that one love, he will do what it takes to survive.”) He’s arrogant. He’s self-centered. (Think of the entirety of Burn.) And in his obsessive journey to succeed, he pushes everyone out of his path.  

Mind: He has a fixation on death, on time running out, which drives his manic desire to achieve. (“I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory.) He’s insecure. ("Graduate in two and join the revolution. He looked at me like I was stupid. I’m not stupid.”) 

Solution: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story? Eliza tells his story. Hamilton’s goal throughout the story is a legacy; he strives to achieve this immortality in any way possible, even if it means neglecting his loved ones, or even ruining their lives. He needs to learn that his loved ones are enough. Eliza is enough. And through her, he will live on. 

What would have happened if they weren’t flawed? The stories would have been boring. What would have happened if their flaws had been treated like attributes that didn’t have to change? The stories would have ceased to be. Progress couldn’t happen, because by accepting the status quo of their mental and moral states, we’re refusing the call to adventure outright. They’d just exist in the same state they were in the setup, stagnant, somewhat lifeless. Flawed characters must motor towards that NEED, or solution, that will save their lives. 

(I realize this “need” element is rather vague, so it’ll get its own post.)  

But in conclusion, this balance of strengths and flaws – and how this fictional person deals with the adventure they’re thrown into – is what makes a main character compelling, empathetic, and real. 

So when I unearth a notebook years in the future, containing one of stories I’m writing now, maybe the main character won’t make me feel like this:

Maybe it’ll even be like this: 

And best of all, maybe one of those characters will make a reader somewhere feel understood and helped and not alone. Wow. That would be amazing.

Well, there’s my writing motivation for today. I’m going to go make my main character more of a lovable jerk.

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OMGG WAOUW, so beautiful !!!!

Imagine Enjolras realizing he has feelings for Grantaire and, as usual, not knowing how to communicate them but knowing that he has to make some big romantic gesture.

So he figured out that Grantaire likes to go to this open mic at the Musain, and he figures that will be the perfect way to confess his feelings. But, being Enjolras, he can’t do things halfway, so he also learns how to play guitar so that he can play the perfect love song that really demonstrates how he feels about Grantaire.

And so all of Les Amis are at this open mic night and Enjolras gets called and everyone is surprised but no one moreso than Grantaire when Enjolras straight up dedicates the song to him.

And of course Enjolras gives this big, dramatic speech about realizing his feelings and how Grantaire is amazing and Grantaire is sitting there just fucking dead and blushing so deeply as Enjolras keeps saying these goopy, sappy, ridiculous things about him.

And then JUST IMAGINE Grantaire’s face when Enjolras finally wraps up his ridiculously long speech and turns back to the audience and is like, “Anyway, here’s Wonderwall.”

If I date you

I’m not doing it for fun. Of course, I want the fun times - but that’s not all I’m signing up for. I want the highs, the lows, the bickering, the kisses, the hugs, the tears, the laughs. I want to meet your family, I want you to meet mine. I want my nieces and nephews to know your name - not because I mention it, but because you played Candy Land with them. I want to know your favorite songs and which ones you listen to when you’re sad. I want to know everything about you, from every freckle to the way you crinkle your nose when you laugh. I want to know who your first crush was and your first heartbreak. I want to know how you’re feeling, I don’t want to guess. I’m not signing up to have something “perfect” - I’m signing up to have something real, mature, and healthy.

I rarely commit to anyone, so if I commit to you, it’s because I’m hoping that you’re the last person I ever have to commit to. Please don’t waste my time.

pentatonix just won their third grammy and this time it was for country performance

i am so proud of them, three out of three won as they continue growing and inspiring

can you believe they have a grammy for an electronic song (daft punk), a classical song (dance of the sugar plum fairy) and a country song (jolene) being an a cappella band? how beautiful is that? they are a perfect example of well rounded musicians and it is so empowering

congratulations pentatonix i love you 

xx beatrice

DEAR EVAN HANSEN BOOTLEG MOMENTS

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVEN’T SEEN THE BEAUTY THAT IS THE BOOTLEG, HERE ARE SOME CUTE MOMENTS also I don’t mention every song because some of them are still amazing songs but not any different on stage

Anybody Have a Map?: Evan tells this whole story before the song starts about how he had the perfect chance to talk to Zoe but he was worried his hands were sweaty so he tried to dry them under a bathroom hand dryer and now they were warm AND sweaty and it’s really funny and cute. Also, when you meet Connor and his dad and Zoe go “He’s probably high / he’s definatley high” Connor yells “FUCK YOU” and lays his head on the table and his mom says “Oh he isn’t high” and he just slowly looks up and theres a really awkward silence before she yells “I DON’T WANT YOU GOING TO SCHOOL HIGH, CONNOR”

Waving Through A Window: Before this song Connor shoves Evan down because Jared called Connor a freak and Evan laughed about it. That’s about it for this song, the rest was just as it was on the soundtrack. There is a part, though, when Connor signs his cast, where he asks how Evan broke his arm and when Evan tells him he fell out of a tree Connor laughs and says “Well that’s just about the saddest fucking thing I’ve ever heard.”

For Forever: When he says “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be, and I say, me too!” He points at nobody like he’s talking to Connor

Sincerely Me: When Connor says “I rub my nipples and start moaning in delight” he starts VICIOUSLY rubbing the front of his jacket and he throws his head back and keeps his mouth open the whole time Jared and Evan talk. And then before Evans part he’s freaking out and Jared is trying to calm him down and Evan goes “I’M NOT HYPERVENTALATINGDear Connor Murphy, yes I also miss our talks” and then later when Connor sings “Dear Evan Hansen, thanks for every note you send!” He’s play punching Evan and then Evan sings “Dear Connor Murphy, I’m just glad to be your friend!” But he’s anxiously trying not to touch Connor and is just squatting and looking so anxious

If I Could Tell Her: Evan doesn’t know what to do with his hands and he keeps trying to rub the sweat off on his pants and I relate

Sincerely Me, Reprise: THIS A SONG NOT ON THE SOUNDTRACK SO I’LL EXPLAIN it’s a song where Jared is trying to write more emails and he tries to make it look like he was also friends with Connor but Evan interrupts him like “Um, no no no” and is really rude to him about it but there’s lines like “You know that guy at school, Jared Kleinman? THAT TOTALLY COOL JARED KLEINMAN”

To Break In a Glove: Connors dad says “You’re dad must be proud of you” and Evan says “Yeah, he is” before saying “I don’t know why I said that, my dad left when I was seven, I’m not his priority.” And Connors dad looks so heartbroken for him

The other songs are really good and they do so well on stage (it’s broadway so duh) but they’re more intense than cute and they don’t have moments not in the soundtrack that much. Hey, message me for the link so you can see the moments I didn’t mention

4

“When I was younger I saw my daddy cry,
And curse at the wind.
He broke his own heart and I watched,
As he tried to reassemble it;
And my momma swore,
That she would never let herself forget.
And that was the day that I promised,
I’d never sing of love if it does not exist;


But darling, you are the only exception.


Maybe I know somewhere,
Deep in my soul,
That love never lasts;
And we’ve got to find other ways,
To make it alone,
Or keep a straight face.
And I’ve always lived like this,
Keeping a comfortable distance.
And up until now I’ve sworn to myself,
That I’m content with loneliness,
Because none of it was ever worth the risk;


Well, you are the only exception.


I’ve got a tight grip on reality,
But I can’t let go of what’s in front of me, here.
I know you’re leaving in the morning;
When you wake up,
Leave me with some kind of proof it’s not a dream.


You are the only exception,
And I’m on my way to believing.”

🎶💕

I really hope 2017 will be the year Day6 makes it big. They have great voices, play their own instruments, compose their own songs (plus YoungK has written for Got7), 2 of the members speak fluent english and the rest are learning, and their songs are so good. Please check out their ‘I Wait’ MV to see what I mean. Plus this is the perfect year to get into them as they’re releasing a new song every month on the 6th day!

i gotta organize my thoughts on why evermore has me so shook

1) it’s just so goddamn beautiful. and goddamn dan stevens + beast voice growliness???? good shit ok. good damn good shit. 

2. it comes at the PERFECT thematic moment for beast. certain characters just wouldn’t pour their heart out in song format like that. they just wouldn’t. and beast is one of them, he wouldn’t, not until he’s at his lowest would he sing-monologue like that. the song comes at the exact right point in the story. holy shit good timing 10/10

c - he doesn’t have anything against belle herself for leaving. sad as heck she’s gone? yes. convinced he’s never gonna see her again and SUPER sad about that? yes. but angry at her for leaving??? no??? not at all??? damn dude. that’s some goddamn character development. 

ii. he’s been so affected by her she’ll forever inspire him and that is just. goddamn disney. that’s it y’all are done you can’t top that, that’s the pinnacle representation of romantic love. could anyone else even??

b) he’s so completely convinced she’d never come back to him. im so sad. oh, guy. dude. i feel so bad for you. im so sorry you poor sad bastard. “i’ll fool myself she’ll walk right in” oh my god guy you can’t even imagine she’d want to come back to you. 

somebody help me i’ve been listening to this song on repeat for 13 hours and crying

7

you take my hand and drag me head first fearless

“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along”

This is literally the most perfect quote for Dizzee and Thor because their romance is foreshadowed long before Dizzee meets Thor and when you go back and analyze it, it’s kind of incredible.

In the first episode Dizzee wears two necklaces: a key and a lightening bolt. Why is this relevant? Well, most obviously, Thor is literally the thunder god so Dizzee is basically wearing a reference to Thor around his neck before he has even met him. They key is a reference to the line “you’ve got the key come rescue me” from “set me free.” Which as we know is a song essential to Dizzee and Thor but I always interpreted it as Thor rescuing Dizzee and setting him free. However, in a more literal sense, in the second season Thor is the one locked up and Dizzee word for word says to him “when you’re set free.” Dizzee has the key to free Thor long before they meet.

In addition, both Thor and Dizzee knew each other’s work ahead of time and were fans of each other. When they meet they’re in awe of the other because they’ve been following the other’s work. Before they meet face to face they were already in love with the other in some way.

Now, the most interesting part of this is their tags. Both Thor and Rumi are aliens in a sense, creatures from the stars. However, Thor takes human form and Rumi takes an inhuman form (a reference to the way Dizzee is viewed as a black queer man by society but Thor is seen as human because of his whiteness, despite not being one in the terms of the metaphor, but that’s another tangent). Rumi is an alien fated to die no matter what. Thor is a warrior with his shield up in a position of defense. The only time we see Thor (the tag not the person) he is not holding a weapon but only a shield. He exists to protect. Even before they met they created characters that would perfectly express their relationship. Thor yearns to protect Dizzee (he literally says “I’ll keep you safe,” they meet as he saves him, and he tells him he doesn’t want him bombing) but in many ways Dizzee’s fate is sealed and there’s nothing Thor can do to protect him (hence the tunnel).

It’s emphasized so highly that Thor and Dizzee are one and the same and can see each other’s minds. They’re literally “in each other.” The song playing when they kiss, the girl calling them “two psychic boys” (it almost seems like she’s commenting on how fateful the relationship is), the fact that they share a hallucination on multiple occasions (the PCP scene, the sequence with Thor seeing Rumi in prison), and just how linked up their tags are. The bond is more emotional and psychic than anything else, Thor and Dizzee just fully understand each other.

I mean literally it says “in my blood” in the hallucination and the two songs always playing in their scenes are “you’re in my blood” and “dreaming away” clear motifs of dreams and being in each other. Their themes are literally based in them being innately connected on almost a supernatural level. The relationship is fate on so many levels, they’re a “thousand year old secret.” Dizzee and Thor couldn’t have happened in any other context in any other place and they’re essential to the show’s heart in that fact. 

TLDR, the quote is perfect and they’re literally meant to be.

struggling w/ wanting to plan an animation project but not having a good song to go with it @-@