Are flaw and demons the same thing?


New member
I finished another screenplay a few weeks ago, and reading it again just yesterday, I was pleased with the protaganist I had created. He had visible conflict that wasn`t truly resolved until page 90. But starting another script, I decided to change my method around. I created a map of my characters, who they were, what they were, etc. Two of my categories had to do with his flaw, and his demon. I started to analyze my recent script with this outline, and began to wonder if his flaw and demon were the same thing.

The idea is that he`s torn between where he comes from--as well as who he comes from--and where he is now (with his family, friends, etc.). This is his conflict. The thing that drives the story. Where he comes from is his demon. His conflict is his flaw. But his demon is where he comes from, which is one side of his conflict. So basically, his demon is one side of his flaw. They`re one in the same. In fact, his flaw is cleared from his character when he faces his demon towards the end (page 90, where he mentally battles his father and brother).

Looking at this new script, I`m wondering if I shouldn`t just join the demon category with the flaw category, or vice versa. Can I truly created two things that seem to be the same? Let me know what you think.



New member
From what I think you are getting at, you have a few options:

1. It's perfectly fine for a person's flaw to be their demon as well.

2. This is a little more difficult to write, but makes for such a better story. A demon is the protagonist's history. What happened in his/her life that gave them the flaw, or is causing the conflict. The flaw is caused by the demon, or the flaw caused the demon. For instance:

Casablanca - Demon leads to Flaw

Rick Blaine/Humphrey Bogart

Flaw - Inability to feel sympathetic towards anybody; never lets anybody in.
Demon - Ilsa/Ingrid Bergman left him in Paris without explanation.

His demon led to his flaw. He doesn't want to be hurt again, so he never wants to help anybody.

Cliffhanger - Flaw leads to Demon

Sylvester Stalone

Flaw - overconfidence

Demon - Letting his best friend's girl friend fall to her death.
It makes for a better story.


Include A Little.

Include A Little.

Although I’m certain the position of both the flaw and demon have been accurately explained, I would still like to include a little of my own thoughts. Personally I believe that the individual is extremely complex, far too complex to fully describe in the duration of two hours. I also understand that as a writer it’s a necessity that I unfold as much of the characters driving forces as possible. Whether the driving force is a demon, a flaw, a desire, a passion, a interest-- the truth is that they all exist, but it’s the writers job to create a point A and a point B. I believe in direct complexity. I would never imagine undermining the drive, but I would also never imagine introducing every little detail. I’m direct because I create a cause and effect (demon, flaw, etc.) in the form of a straight line, but I never lead a reader to believe the it’s that simple. It’s not and it never will be, but you have to see a process of change– a focus on what matters most. So there definitely not the same, I could see you both already established that much- but here's to a little more discussion.