So if you follow me in Twitter, you probably know about my recent obsession.
If you don't, let me fill you in.
I've started watching The Vampire Diaries. And tweeting like a madwoman while I do.
And here's the thing. I pretty much adore this show. First it was just cuz of Damon, because no matter how much of an ass you are if you look like THAT
I'll just nod and smile.
But then--dude, I actually care about these characters.
Well. Not Stefan and Elena. They're perfect and annoying and idiotic. Just like they were in the first episode.
But Damon? Who has turned from a vengeful, ass who kills for fun to a devoted ass who kills to protect the ones he loves?
Or Caroline who was a petty shallow cheerleader competing with her best friend and now is a still shallow, but caring vamp who is comfortable in her own skin? Or Tyler.
Or Jeremy. Or, hell, even Katherine. I never thought I'd actually like Katherine--she's a psychotic bitch and makes no apologies for it. But--she's the way she is for a reason, and as the show's writers dole out those nuggets of info--as each episode gives us a little change in Damon, Caroline, Tyler, Bonnie--I find myself eager to see what happens next.
So what is this teaching me and how does it apply to writing?
1. Backstory ISN'T awful. If used sparingly and naturally, it's actually great.
2. Characters with flaws are much more awesome than characters without. I don't like Stefan. He's self-righteous and perfect and annoying. Damon, on the other hand, is a hot mess. He's impulsive and makes mistakes and loves all the wrong women and does things to hurt people he cares about--but I adore his character. I want to see him struggle to improve.
So. Pretty simple, you guys. Make your characters human--flaws and all. (Unless, ya know, they're vampires, but you get what I'm saying.)
And just cuz I wanted to share...