Monday, June 9, 2014

Is Flawed Okay?

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?

Find Morgan Mandel's Mysteries & Romances
on her Amazon Author Page at

Twitter: @MorganMandel


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Excellent post--flawed heroes and heroines are more fun to read--and write. (However, I got tired of the drunken cops that seemed to be so popular a while back.)

Morgan Mandel said...

Yes, there's only so much of something I can take, before I get tired of a trend.