Want, Need, Flaw, Symptoms: In our own stories

We’re looking at the wants, needs, flaws, and symptoms of main characters this week.  Let’s get to our own:

1. Our human-rights-attorney story:
When the money runs out before the case against his transgender partner is over, a human rights lawyer joins a prestigious and wealthy law firm not knowing that the managing partner is the devil behind the lawsuit.

Our Thematic Premise:

Courage leads to self empowerment;
cowardice leads to disempowerment.

Want, Need, Flaw, Symptoms:

  • Character: A human rights lawyer who joins a wealthy firm in order to fund the continuation of his transgender partner’s case.
  • General Emotional Want:  to protect his partner
  • Specific External Goal:  to win his case
  • Internal Emotional Need:  Empowerment (from our theme)
  • Supporting Backstory: probably an incident with his dad, demonstrating a pattern of being told he was weak and worthless.  Maybe a moment when our hero was a kid, and was trying to achieve something the achievement of which Dad thought was against the odds, and so dad told him not to bother, he’ll never amount to anything, so why try.
  • Active Flaw:  Cowardice (from our theme)
  • Flaw Symptoms:  He gives in at the slightest pushback or gray area in his legal cases; If something he wants takes even a little effort, he gives up. You can see it at the supermarket.  What he wants is available, but it’s out of reach, on a stocking shelf maybe, and he could ask for help, but he doesn’t.  He’s passive, doesn’t put anyone out.

2. Our diamond bullets story:
When his brother’s gang develops a diamond bullet that can penetrate bulletproof vests, a scholarship student must decide whether to help his brother avenge the death of their gang-leader father or protect the father of his girlfriend, the Police Commissioner of New York City.

Our thematic premise:

Acceptance leads to family;
Revenge leads to loss of family.

Want, Need, Flaw, Symptoms:

  • Character: a kid whose brother expects him to avenge the death of their gang-leader father by killing his girlfriend’s dad.
  • General Emotional Want:  Peace
  • Specific External Goal:  To prevent the killing of his girlfriend’s dad without his brother knowing he interfered.
  • Internal Emotional Need:  To Belong (because he doesn’t really fit in with his gang family or with his private school and girlfriend)
  • Supporting Backstory: Perhaps another dad-incident, where Dad makes fun of him for being studious and caring about animals.  Maybe Dad tells him he must be the son of the mailman, because our hero definitely isn’t Dad’s son.
  • Active Flaw:  Indecisiveness and Impulsiveness
  • Flaw Symptoms:  He delays doing things that are good for him that it’s his initial idea to do, but can be easily talked into doing things that are bad for him, especially if he’s never thought of it before.

Well, that’s it for me.  What about you?  What are the want, need, flaw, symptoms of your characters?  Tell us in the comments!


We’ll look at antagonists.  See you then!

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