Earlier this month the lovely KMont of Lurv A La Mode was focusing the spotlight on some upcoming releases (my apologies KMont - I can't remember the exact post)...and two words (in a back cover summary) in relation to the heroine caught my eye: beautiful and fearless! And those two simple words immediately put me off the book!!! Why? It's often said (I'm not sure by whom) that first impressions are important, that people judge us almost immediately by what they see. Remember the phrase 'Don't judge a book by its cover'? Well....I try not too, mostly because I've found that books are often nothing like their covers *grin* I judge by the summary...and the review - will this storyline, will these characters interest me?
Someone once said to me (I think - I'm paraphrasing wildly) that a perfect character permits no growth....they're beautiful, they're fearless/feisty and they are talented. Hmm...top of the food chain then. What do they have to aspire too...apart from staying at the top of the food chain? I don't like such characters...I want growth, I want development...I want to see the character become...more. Why? Because it gives me hope that I can do the same. And yes, it's just a character on a page and with a few strokes of a pen/clicks of a keyboard the character can grow. And yes, an author can make that happen that quickly. But..sometimes...you'll find an author that will let the development happen slowly...at a more realistic pace...and you realise you are biting your lip, mentally crossing your fingers for said character. You want him/her to succeed. But if the character is perfect...what room is there to grow? And yes, a good author will include flaws to allow for that growth. Unfortunately, beautiful, feisty and talented is everything I'm not...and if I find such a character all I end up doing is comparing myself...and I come up wanting. And yes, that is a reflection of me...I'm a perfectionist...
I know such heroines have their place, and that many readers love them, but...I need more.
So, do you like your characters with no flaws, or do you like them with flaws? And if the latter, do the flaws have to be internal - emotional or mental - rather than external (physical)?