Flawed Characters, by Sarah Morgan
Any book or article on the craft of developing believable characters in fiction will advise the writer to give them flaws. Doing so makes them ‘human’ because real people aren’t perfect and if you want the reader to become fully involved in the story then the characters need to act like real people.
When I was first invited to contribute to the Balfour Bride series, I was thrilled. As I waited nervously for the brief to arrive, I hoped that my Balfour sister would be someone ‘real’ – someone whose journey would be absorbing and emotional. Right from the first moment I read Bella’s story I was excited, and that excitement stayed with me all the way through the writing of the manuscript. Bella was definitely flawed. She was also complex and sometimes spoiled, but I sensed immediately how vulnerable she was underneath all that attitude and how much of her ‘image’ had been developed as a defence mechanism.
Advice on writing craft is also likely to tell you that a character should change, or at least learn something during the course of the story and that was certainly the case with Bella. Spoiled Bella became humble Bella and then bold, brave Bella. I loved her (Go Bella!), and I hope you love her too. Her story, Bella and the Merciless Sheikh, is out now in the US (It’s called Bella’s Disgrace in the UK and if you’re looking for it on the Mills and Boon website you’ll find it in ‘Special Releases’).
So how do you prefer your heroines? Sweet and good or seriously flawed?