The Imperfect Heroine
It’s no secret that I’m fond of characters full of flaws. Take my main character Isadora in Torn: she’s reckless, over sensitive, and prone to melodrama. That said, she’s also fiercely loyal, brave, affectionate, and totally her own person. Creating flawed romantic leads is always a risk. A lot of readers want to totally and completely identify with the girl in a romance: feel everything she feels, agree with her way of thinking, approve of all of her decisions and actions. Writers know this, and, unfortunately, a lot of them are convinced that in order for their romances to become popular, they have to create goody-goody heroines. You know, the kind of girls who are never judgmental, never say anything mean, and never show any signs of self-absorption or selfishness. I mean, what teenage girl is not at least a little bit self-absorbed? Teens are naturally a bit self-centered; it’s by being self-focused that they figure out who they are.
Which brings me to the issue of character development. If a character starts out perfect, there’s no room for growth. That leaves getting the guy the only goal. And usually this guy is confident, rebellious, and independent, or, in other words, everything the heroine is not. We all know that story about a single kiss turning a frog into a prince. That same kind of fantasy is at play in these traditional romances: these stories suggests that by kissing the rebel guy, some of his strength and independence will rub off on the heroine. But it just doesn’t work that way.
In Torn, Tristan, the romantic interest, does have typical bad boy features; there’s something dark about him, he’s rebellious, and he has a mind of his own. But he’s more than this. He’s also super observant, brilliant, loyal, and pushes Isadora to really grown as a person. Isadora is seriously flawed, but this doesn’t stop Tristan from loving her. Because of his love and friendship, she is able to get to know herself better and mature a great deal by the end of the book. So Tristan’s unbelievably sexy, steadfastly loyal, and pushes Isadora to question her motivations and keep herself from making fatal mistakes. That to me is the true definition of a fabulous guy, wouldn’t you say?
You can pick up Torn for a mere $2.99 in the Kindle Store. Check out the sample first and tell me what you think. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can find me on Facebook. Thanks for reading! And thanks to Jodie at Uniquely Moi Books for her generous invitation to write a guest post!