Silja Swaby, half Jamaican, half Finnish, is a marine biologist and author. Funded by Arts Council England, she has won competitions, and been placed in prizes and awards. She is working on a series of futuristic thrillers, featuring a female biologist whose quiet academic life takes a drastic turn. Silja has taken creative writing courses at Cambridge University and more recently Yale University, USA.

Silja tutors writers, gives workshops, and provides a critique service. She is happily unmarried and lives in deepest Somerset, UK.

Silja Swaby is pronounced Sil-yah Sway-bee.

October 15, 2009

Character flaw

Every well-drawn, appealing character has one or more weaknesses or flaws. This flaw may be physical, emotional or spiritual. Pip in Dickens' Great Expectations is a snob. Humbert Humbert's flaw is his monumental passion for Lolita. The job of the author is to build a complexity of motives, desires and needs, and ensure the character faces them head on!

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