I took this photograph in a disused pottery in North East France. It’s a lovely old health and safety notice positively steeped in period atmosphere.
Roughly translated, the exhortation reads, All injuries must be declared – good guidance for writers of fiction, perhaps, as often what makes characters interesting is not their qualities but their short comings, not their strengths but their weaknesses. A bit of emotional damage can be irresistibly attractive to a reader and therefore good material for an author. The tragic flaw – the trait which traduces a hero – is a key factor in classical drama, so when you are working on a character, remember to focus on their imperfections – declare their injuries, if you like – because that is where growth and change can occur.