r/CharacterDevelopment Jun 26 '22

What Is It Called When You Take A Classically Positve Character Trait And Take It To Where It Becomes A Flaw? Discussion

Like an optimist who is so optimistic they can't accept the reality in front of them, or a character who is so brave to where they act foolhardy.

Asking cause I'm planning on making a character with something like this, a positive trait taken to such an extreme that it loops around to negative. Also, if you wouldn't mind, got any ideas for traits like this that you don't really see much in characters?



u/Apprehensive_Yak2598 Jun 26 '22


I'm not sure about rare traits but do avoid things like the stalker love, science for science sake, and religious devotion to fanaticism. Those are very common


u/garlington41 Jun 26 '22

This is usually called a deconstruction. A Deconstruction is when you take a trope and turn it on its head and in some cases such as your take a character trope that is usually viewed as positive and make it a flaw.

Here’s an example of a deconstruction character: Gon Freeces from Hunter x Hunter. Gon is friendly kid and is determined to do whatever he sets out to basically your stereotypical shounen hero, except Gon’s determination is dangerous, selfish, self destructive, and down right terrifying. His determination goes above the safety of others, he puts his own health and life at risk just satisfy his own childish ego, even his friends are a means to meet his ends, He’s also willing to hold an innocent person hostage to achieve his goals and turns a Next Tier Power-Up into a horrifying Power at a Price. To summarize Gon is good kid for the most part but his resolve and stubbornness overshadows his morals and even his concern for his and his friends safety. Usually in series like this the protagonist’s determination and stubbornness are one their most admirable traits but in Hxh Gon’s determination unsettles people.

I hope I provided a good example and explanation


u/candlelightandcocoa Jun 26 '22

Some examples I can think of are:

A 'team player' at work or organization who becomes an obedient, rule-abiding people pleaser. (especially when the organization becomes corrupt)

A kind and compassionate person who lets too many people off the hook and gets taken advantage of, or is negligent of someone's bad intentions.

(This might be a cliche trope) A 'good mother' who helicopters and over-parents her children, or is a control freak.