I’m not sure whether you mean personality flaws or physical flaws, so I’m going to divide my advice up into two sections for your convenience. Please let me know if I’ve misunderstood you…!
Throughout literature, the main flaw of an angel is an urge for violence. Angels aren’t just messengers in the Bible. Revelation (9:13-15), for example:
‘And four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.’
They’re not just servants to God, but His warriors as well. He orders them to kill the very same creatures He has asked them to love and adore. You can’t really imagine what kind of psychological make-up a creature like that would have to have in order to be able to follow every order with absolute loyalty.
Whilst some angels in the Bible are depicted as gentle messengers, that’s not their only purpose and they are shown to have great power. It’s not always used for ‘good’.
A lot of stories to do with angels also explore the angelic hierarchy. It’s made pretty clear in the Bible what God does to angels who rebel against Him:
God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgement. John 5:1-9
Depending on whether you’re writing angels as part of a religious canon, ambition and jealousy are two key flaws one could put to them, specifically in regards to God’s love and creation of mankind. Lucifer would be a prime example of pride as a flaw, although interpretations differ.
There’s also the idea of nephilim, children born of angels and humans (Genesis, 6:4). Here, it’s assumed that angels, like people, can experience desire past the point of minding how much trouble it’ll get them into.
There’s also the fact that angels aren’t born of earth, so their viewpoints, opinions and observations of earthly behaviours/objects is a really fun thing to play around with.
More than once, an angel appears to someone in the Bible with a sword ‘…drawn in his hand’ (Joshua 5:13-15, Numbers 22:23).
It doesn’t sound like such a scary thought when you imagine angels as being ‘like men’, but you only have to read a couple of passages from Ezekiel (1:1-14, 10:1-12) to get an idea of how horrifying they supposedly did look.
Supernatural toys with the idea that angels have a heavenly form which cannot be shown to people on earth, so they have to possess a vessel.
If you did stick with the traditional ‘like men’ appearance, then their wings would be the first ‘flaw’ you could look at. Earth is designed for human beings, creatures with two arms and two legs. Angels are essentially six-limbed, including their extra appendages. They wouldn’t be able to use the majority of our facilities, at least not comfortably.
They’re also said to be androgynous. Most people bizarrely interpret this as, ‘a very gorgeous, muscular-looking man’… I have to say Angel Sanctuary is my favourite work in regards to the angelic characters not being strictly tied to one masculine gender. They have the ‘beautiful’, ethereal appearance one might tie to angels instead, which would present its own problems in our world, I’d imagine (as in, people knowing that they’re around something not quite human).
- A Glory of Angels
- Angels and Demons
- Fallen Angel Names
- Little Tips for Writing Winged Characters
- Books with Half-Angel, Half-Human Characters
- YA Angels
- Books with Angels, Gods or Demons
- Angels & Demons
- A few unusual angels
Hope this helps!
Because you’ve liked my blog recs before, I’ve compiled an insane blog/site recommendation masterlist. Below the read more you’ll find hundreds of recommendations for inspiration, instruction, and genre-related help. Additionally, there are blogs written by professional writers and over 100 links each for poetry related sites and science fiction blogs.
- Jane Friedman: Being Human at Electric Speed, by Jane Friedman
- Rachelle Gardner, by Rachelle Gardner
- WordServe Water Cooler
- Red Lemon Club
- Silliman’s Blog, by Ron Silliman
- Harriet, the Blog, by the Poetry Foundation
- A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing, by J.A. Konrath
- Make a Living Writing, by Carol Tice
- Nathan Bransford, author, by Nathan Bransford
- Wordplay, by K.M. Weiland
- terribleminds, by Chuck Wendig
- Writer Beware blog, by Victoria Strauss
- InkyGirl, by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
- Book of Kells, by Kelli Russell Agodon
- ProBlogger, by Darren Rowse
- Modern Confessional, by Collin Kelley
- Best American Poetry blog, by the BAP team
- The Traveling Writer, by Alexis Grant
- Baggott Asher Bode, by Julianna Baggott
- Chicks Dig Poetry, by Sandra Beasley
- Evil Editor, by an evil editor
There is more to Fantasy than heroic/epic/high fantasy and medieval fantasy indeed. Let’s take for example urban and dark, two of my favorites:
Simply, research about the many subgenres Fantasy has (x) and write and research your way to them.
Which viewpoint should you use?
As a writer you can choose to tell your story using first person, second person, or third person as your viewpoint. Different viewpoints suit different stories. Different tenses suit different types of stories. Memoirs, for example, are almost always written in first person present tense. Crime fiction, especially in the police procedural genre, is almost always written in third person past tense.
There are no absolute rules for choosing a viewpoint for your story. You can even choose to tell the story from multiple viewpoints, although we suggest you have no more than three per novel.
Once you’ve chosen there is one rule you should observe with viewpoint. Never change viewpoint in a scene. This confuses readers who like to be in one character’s head at a time.
We cover viewpoint in more depth on our Writers Write course, but I’ve put together some definitions, and examples here.
First Person – The character tells the story, using the pronoun ‘I’.
Example: I walk into the room. I know he’s there in the darkness. I smile as I smell the sunshine and wind in his hair.
- Simple – One character tells the story. Example: Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
- Simple Unreliable Narrator – One character tells the story but we don’t know if he is telling the truth. Example: Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye
- Rashamon Effect – This means multiple characters tell their version of the same events in the story. Example: As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
- Separate Multiple Viewpoints – This means multiple characters tell the story using first person perspectives. Example: blueeyed boy by Joanne Harris
- Sequential Multiple Viewpoints – This means different characters tell the story from their perspective in a timeline or sequence. You may have Jane narrating events in January, Debbie narrating events from February to June, and Sarah in July. Example: The family sagas written by Susan Howatch
- First Person Omniscient - The narrator is a character in the story, but also knows the thoughts and feelings of all the other characters. Examples: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Second Person – The character tells the story using the pronoun ‘You’.
Example: You walk into the room. You know he’s there in the darkness. You smile as you smell the sunshine and wind in his hair.
This is the least common of all viewpoints used by authors. It is used to make the reader feel uncomfortable. The character is often alienated or in an altered state. The reader feels as if he or she is being compelled to listen. Children do not like second person. Examples: Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney, Half Asleep In Frog Pajamas by Tom Robbins
Third Person – The narrator tells the story using the pronouns ‘He’ and ‘She’.
Example: She walks into the room. She knows he’s there in the darkness. She smiles as she smells the sunshine and wind in his hair.
- Subjective – This means the author focuses on one character and his thoughts and feelings. It is similar to simple first person but the author uses ‘he’ instead of ‘I’. Examples: The Harry Bosch novels by Michael Connelly,The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. (You can also use separate multiple viewpoints and sequential multiple viewpoints in third person subjective.)
- Omniscient – This means the author gives readers a broad view of the story. The thoughts and feelings of many, or all, the characters are shown. Examples: Jane Austen’s novels, Tom Clancy’s novels, Charles Dickens’ novels
- Objective – This means the author observes, and tells the story according to the actions of the characters. Readers have no idea what is going on inside the heads of the main characters. Examples: Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway and The Mallory Novels by Carol O Connell
Eplans.com is a website that sells blueprints for houses.
This might not seem that helpful but if you want a characters house you can make selections based on what sort of house you want them to live in.
Then browse through the results and find the house you want. Then you can view the blueprints and have a room layout for that house, which can help with visualising the space they live in.
It makes describing generic homes so much easier.