Monday, August 12, 2013

Beautiful, young, & perfect.Advantages and disadvantages of the modern heroine and how their level of perfection can connect or disconnect readers.

As a modern woman, how do the (sometimes) perfect heroines we read cause us a disconnect to the story? Or in come cases, can a too imperfect character cause just as much of a separation between reader and character?

I am on the side of balance here, but I've asked a few fellow authors to weigh in on this topic. Author Raven McAllan says, "I have to have a character who has real attributes . . . " I agree. It is hard to identify with a heroine whose hair never strays, or if it does, does so beautifully, her make-up never smudges, and her body is divine (though she never seems to work for it). But if not perfect, can a character be too flawed? As a reader, I want a character to live through on the page and I want a good looking heroine to do it through. There has to be a balance. We need a heroine who's not perfect, but with just enough of that not-perfect perfection to attract an audience.

Author R. Brennan says, " . . . one comment I get most often on my novel, Call of the Sea, is that they loved the heroine character because she was flawed enough to be real . . . were really able to see growth by the end of the novel because she didn't start out or end up perfect." And Lynde Lakes says, "We need human heroines with strong emotions and good hearts."

Real, flawed, and human is the general opinion. Kastil Eavenshade says, "It's hard to identify with a character that has no flaws. It kills the realism . . . Sure, books are an escape from the real world but it's hard to dive right in when the character isn't believable . . . "

I have to agree with these ladies. What about you? Or, do you think the imperfect heroine makes us as women less likely to strive for perfection within ourselves?