Identifying with my Characters

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I was just reading an Amazon review of one of my favorite books.  The book is the third in an urban fantasy series.  I’ve read and personally love this book, as I do all the books in the series, but the person leaving the review hated the book.  She’d read and enjoyed the earlier books in the series too, but she stated that the heroine in the third book was too whiny and simpering in the face of major life discoveries.

I didn’t agree with the reviewer, and after some contemplation, I realized why.  When I read a book, I follow the character’s journey.  Not all kick-ass heroines are always kick-ass.  In fact, I prefer it when they’re not.  I want my heroines to be real (well, as real as they can be in the paranormal worlds I like to read about).  That means that they suffer moments of doubt, moments of weakness, and moments where they make poor decisions.  Just like me.  I can’t identify with a heroine who’s too perfect, too strong.

When I write my characters, I want to make them as real as possible.  They struggle to make decisions, they make the wrong decisions sometimes, and they aren’t always perfect.  After all, who wants to read about the perfect person?  Sounds a little boring to me.


2 thoughts on “Identifying with my Characters

    BonSue Brandvik said:
    August 6, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    I totally agree. I like my heroines to be strong rather than being saved by the hero all the time, but I also like them to be real. To me, that means sometimes they squeal and jump on a chair when they see a mouse, but other times, they are willing to charge into the mouth of hell to save those they love.

    Ciara Knight said:
    September 6, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    I agree. I love three dimensional characters. Ones that jump off the page as real, instead of perfect. Let’s face it, none of us are perfect. LOL I write YA and in contests I’ve received such conflicting feedback. One judge LOVES her teenage angsty, and feels she reacts perfect to situations. Another one thinks she’s whinny and too angsty.
    I think there should be a balance with positive and negative characteristics.

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