I've been to countless critiques of my own writing and that of others. Almost all concurred that book heroes and heroines must seem heroic. An obvious approach is to present a character with sterling qualities..
Another, which takes more effort, is to present a character with major flaws, but offer redeeming qualities which will make that character sympathetic, a/k/a heroic. That's when some authors include a pet in the picture. If a mean person loves a dog or cat, that person can't be all bad, right?
In the case of Cornelia (Clyde) Shaw of Social Death: A Clyde Shaw Mystery, by Tatiana Boncompagni, at first, I was taken aback by Clyde's predilections toward alcohol and sex, and almost put the book down. Not exactly my type of heroine.
However, I became drawn not only to her struggle to do right and overcome her past, but also to the suspense and central mystery of the story.
I couldn't stop reading.
Surprisingly, I could bond with Clyde, despite her faults. Not only that, I hated to see the book end.
What about you? Do you like squeaky clean characters, or prefer flaws? What kind of faults would turn you off and make you stop reading?
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