Character flaws are not physical descriptions like being overly hairy, wearing dirty socks, or having one leg. Instead, character flaws are what drives characters through their story via their internal arc (If you want to dig deeper into this, check out a Discovering Story Magic
"Everyone has baggage and flaws. It's how they choose
to deal with it is their character."
The protagonist needs to overcome their flaw in order to succeed against the antagonist and to show internal growth by the story's end, so choosing the right flaw is very important. It helps define what your story is ultimately about.
A few might argue that some of the words on my list below defy my definition of not being a physical description, but they are the first step in offering a spark of inspiration or working as a starting point in a drill down by always asking the question...why? Why is the character a kleptomaniac? What do they need, fear, or believe that causes them to have this affliction? Is the disability of only having one leg a character flaw? No, but the character's feelings or beliefs about having one leg is, and this is what the hero needs to overcome when entering the ring with the villain.
Get your imaginations ready, and check out over four-hundred and fifty flaws below! Let the fun begin...
ONE MASSIVE LIST OF CHARACTER FLAWS
Abandoned, Abrasive, Absent-minded, Abusive, Acts superior, Addicted, Addled, Adulterous, Aggressive, Aimless, Alcoholic, Aloof, Angry, Antisocial, Anxious, Apathetic, Arrogant, Artificial, Authoritarian, Avoiding, Awkward
Bad negotiator, Belligerent, Biased, Bigmouth, Bigot, Bitchy, Bitter, Blames others, Blunt, Boastful, Bold, Boring, Bossy, Boorish, Bratty
Calculating, Callous, Careless, Catty, Caustic, Center of attention, Changeable, Charmless, Chatter-box, Cheap, Childish, Close-minded, Clumsy, Coarse, Cocky, Cold-hearted, Combative, Competitive, Complacent, Compulsive, Conceited, Condemnatory, Confident, Confrontational, Conservative, Controlling, Covetous, Cowardly, Crafty, Crazy, Critical, Cruel, Cunning, Cynical
Day-dreamer, Defensive, Defiant, Delusional, Demanding, Denying, Dependent, Depressed, Desperate, Despondent, Destructive, Detached, Dictator, Difficult, Directionless, Dirty, Disabled, Disapproving, Dishonest, Disloyal, Disorderly, Disorganized, Disrespectful, Disruptive, Distant Distracted, Doesn’t listen, Dogmatic, Dreamer, Driven, Drug-addicted, Dull
Easily offended, Easily swayed, Egocentric, Egotistical, Emotional, Enervated, Entitlement, Envious, Erratic, Evasive, Evil, Excitable, Extravagant, Extreme
Facetious, Failure, Faithless, Fake, Fanatical, Fastidious, Fearful, Fickle, Fierce, Flaky, Flippant, Flirty, Follower, Foolish, Forgetful, Frail, Frivolous, Frugal, Fussy
Gloomy, Gluttonous, Goal-oriented, Gossipy, Greedy, Grim, Grumpy, Guarded, Gullible
Harsh, Hateful, Haughty, Headstrong, Hedonistic, Hesitant, High social standing, High-strung, Holds grudges, Homicidal, Hostile, Hubristic, Humorless, Hypochondriac, Hypocritical
Idealistic, Ignorant, Ill-behaved, Ill-tempered, Immature, Impatient, Impious, Impolite, Impoverished, Impractical, Impressionable, Impulsive, Inadequate, Inattentive, Incompetent, Inconsiderate, Indecisive, Indifferent, Indulgent, Inefficient, Inept, Inexperienced, Inferiority-complex, Inflexible, Inhibited, Insecure, Insensitive, Insincere, Insulting, Intolerant, Irresponsible
Killjoy, Kleptomaniac, Know-it-all
Lacking initiative, Lacking skills, Languid, Lazy, Lewd, Liar, Liberal, Listless, Lofty goals, Lonesome, Loud, Low social status, Low self-esteem, Lustful
Machiavellian, Macho, Malicious, Manipulative, Masochistic, Materialistic, Mean, Mechanical, Meddlesome, Meek, Megalomaniac, Melodramatic, Merciless, Messy, Meticulous, Mischievous, Miserable, Miserly, Mistrusting, Modest, Moody, Morbid, Mouthy, Murderous
Nag, Naïve, Narcissistic, Narrow-minded, Nasty, Naughty, Needy, Negative, Neglectful, Nervous, Neurotic, No direction, Non-adventurous, Non-receptive, Non-supportive, Nosy, Not detail-oriented
Obnoxious, Obsessive, Obstinate, Offends easily, Offhand, Opinionated, Oppressive, Ostentatious, Outrageous, Outsider, Over-achiever, Over-reacts, Over-critical, Over-sensitive, Over-ambitious, Over-confident, Over-dramatic, Over-emotional, Overly affectionate, Overly optimistic, Over-protective, Over-zealous
Paranoid, Partier, Party-animal, Passive, Patronizing, Perfectionist, Pessimistic, Petty, Phobic, Picky, Player, Playful, Plodding, Pompous, Poor planner, Poser, Possessive, Practical, Predatory, Predictable, Prejudice, Pretentious, Prideful, Prim, Prissy, Procrastinating, Promiscuous, Prudish, Psychotic, Puritanical, Pushy, Pyromaniac
Rebellious, Reckless, Remorseless, Resentful, Responsible, Results-oriented, Ridiculous, Rigid, Risk-taker, Roguish, Rowdy, Ruthless
Sadist, Sadomasochist, Sanctimonious, Savagery, Scatterbrained, Scattered, Scornful, Secretive, Self-centered, Self-deprecating, Self-destructive, Self-giving, Self-important, Self-indulgent, Self-martyr, Self-righteous, Selfish, Selfless, Sensitive, Serious, Shallow, Shameful, Shameless, Short-tempered, Shy, Sickly, Skeptical, Sleazy, Slovenly, Slow, Sly, Small-minded, Smart Ass, Sneaky, Snobbish, Snoopy, Snooty, Soft-hearted, Somber, Sordid, Sore loser, Spendthrift, Spies, Spineless, Spiteful, Squeamish, Stagnant, Static, Status-conscious, Steals, Stingy, Stressed, Stubborn, Stupid, Submissive, Subservient, Superficial, Superiority-complex,
Superstitious, Surly, Suspicious
Tactless, Talkative, Tardy, Tasteless, Tedious, Temperamental, Tense, Thief, Thoughtless, Thrifty, Timid, Touchy, Tough, Traitor, Treacherous, Troublemaker, Truculent, Trusting
Unaccomplished, Unappreciative, Unbalanced, Unbending Uncaring, Uncharitable, Uncommitted, Uncommunicative, Unconventional, Uncooperative, Uncouth, Undependable, Undisciplined, Unethical, Unfair, Unfaithful, Unfeeling, Unfocused, Unforgiving, Unfriendly, Ungrateful, Unimaginative, Uninformed, Unintelligent, Unkempt, Unkind, Unlucky, Unmotivated, Unpredictable, Unreasonable, Unreliable, Unresponsive, Unrestrained, Unscrupulous, Unstable, Unsure, Unsympathetic, Untidy, Untrustworthy, Unworldly, User
Vague, Vain, Vengeful, Verbose, Vicious, Vindictive, Violent, Vision-less, Volatile, Vulnerable, Vulgar
Wasteful, Weak, Weak-willed, Whiny, Wild, Willful, Wimpy, Withdrawn, Workaholic, Worry wart, Wrathful