Ultimate List of Character Flaws for Writing Your Story

If you are writing a character for a short story or a novel, it is important that you know how to use character flaws. While character flaws may seem like a negative thing for a character to have, they are in fact a great way to make your characters stand out. 

However, if you are going to give character flaws to your characters, you should know how to use them effectively. 

What Is A Character Flaw?

Before we start using character flaws in our characters, let’s first find out what character flaws are, and why they are good to include in your character writing.

Character flaws are personality traits that are of a negative quality. Although they are not really a good thing to have for people in real life, they are in fact a very good tool for the character writing process. 

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Types of Character Flaws

You should remember that there are many types of character flaws that you could use for your character writing. 

Here is a list of character flaws that you should use for all your stories.

Physical Flaw

You could use a physical flaw as a character flaw, however, the flaw must add to the character. The physical flaw could be anything. It could be a deformity such as a scar or a burn. 

The flaw could also be a beauty mark such as a mole, or crooked teeth. You could also use handicaps as character flaws as well. Here are some great examples of physical flaws for your characters.

  • Missing Limb

You could create a character who is missing limbs. This could be used to give the character handicaps that he or she could overcome. You could also write how the character lost the limb.

  • Weak eyesight

If you take a look at some of the well-loved characters in literary history, you will notice that many of them have weak eyesight. This is because glasses give characters a vulnerability that makes them endearing to the reader. 

This is also a great way to show how strong-willed a character is, by having the character overcome weak eyesight.

  • Acne

While skin problems are a very normal thing, you could use them to give your characters more depth. For example, you could create a character who struggles to get a love life due to acne.

Personality Flaw

Yet another character flaw that you could use are personality flaws. While physical flaws are aimed at the physical aspect of your characters, personality flaws are aimed at the personality of your characters. Here are some great examples of personality flaws.

personality character flaw

  • Money-hungry

While being money-hungry could be a negative trait, this could also be used as a great character flaw. You could mitigate the trait by giving the character a backstory wherein he or she grew up poor, so the character has an overwhelming need to make money because he or she fears going back to such a state of life.

  • Obsessed with status

Yet, another character flaw is the obsession with status. This kind of personality often makes the character seem shallow and could be used to make a great antagonist or anti-hero.

  • Bull-headed

If you want to make your character seem obstinate and difficult to work with, you could give him or her the bull-headed trait. This characteristic will could be both positive and negative. Your character could be obstinate in the face of tyranny or obstinate in a wrong decision.

  • Womanizer

This characteristic usually gives the character a negative trait. You could create a character who is a chronic womanizer and can’t help himself from having multiple female partners.

Positive Flaw

While character flaws are usually a shortcoming for most characters, there are also some character flaws that could be positive as well. These flaws are positive, because they make the character more endearing, even if the trait is still considered a flaw.

positive character flaw


  • Soft-hearted:

While this trait may seem like a positive trait, it could be considered a character flaw because it may make the character seem weak to his or her peers.

  • Overly generous:

Being generous is a good thing, however, if a character is too generous then this will count as a character flaw. For example, you could create a character who gives away food or money, even though he or she is poor too.

  • Brave:

Although being brave is a great character trait, there is such a thing as being too brave for your own good. You could create a character who is too brave, and could even be considered foolhardy and possessive of a death wish.

Negative Flaw

There are positive flaws, and there are truly negative ones. These flaws are usually the type of flaws that are given to antagonists of the story. These traits are meant to highlight the difference between the protagonist and the antagonist

They are also meant to show the key differences between the two characters. These types of flaws usually don’t have any redeeming factors and are meant to make your readers dislike or outright detest the character.

negative character flaw


  • Murderous

When it comes to negative character flaws, being murderous is a very potent one. If you want your character to look bad, and irredeemable, then you should give him or her a bloodthirsty streak. This will make your character look both dangerous and evil.

  • Egocentric

If you want to make your antagonist very annoying, you should give him or her an egocentric personality trait. No one likes an egocentric person. They are self-absorbed, and no one will side with an egocentric person.

  • Narcissistic

Narcissism is also a very effective type of character flaw that you could use for your characters. When it comes to using narcissism in your character writing, you should focus on the character’s physical appearance and his or her obsession with it.


Now that you know what character flaws are, and how to incorporate them into your writing, you should think of publishing a book of your own with Writers Republic. The company has great self-publishing packages to choose from. 

Whether you are making a book of funny stories, or any other kind of literature, it will be a pleasure to help you achieve your book publishing goals.

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