Walking Contradictions: How the Masters Do It

We’re looking at how to make our characters more interesting by giving them lots of irreconcilable conflict.  Here are some examples I’ve noticed in the stories I’ve read or watched recently.  As usual, I will add more examples as I come across them in my readings.  For now…

Andy Weir’s The Martian
The main character is highly intelligent, an elite astronaut, a master at botany, a genius at fixing and modifying space equipment all by himself.  He’s also got a sophomoric sense of humor. At one point, immediately after the commanding officer back on Earth, who’s trying to coordinate his rescue, tells him that their instant message conversations will be in the media, he writes, “Look! A pair of boobs! –> ( . Y . )”

Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad
The main character is a straight-laced high school chemistry teacher who starts producing and selling meth.

David Simon’s The Wire
The character Omar Little is a shotgun-shooting robber with a soft spot for women and children and an insightful view of the world.

What about you?  What walking-contradiction characters have you noticed?  Tell us in the comments.

UP NEXT, ON FRIDAY

We’ll see if we can develop some contradictions for the main characters in the two storylines we’ve got going.  See you then.

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