Friday, July 15

You're so Pefect I Could Barf


This week at Word Wranglers we're talking about what ruins a book for us. For me? Two words. Perfect heroines. She's drop dead gorgeous. She never lies, is kind to everyone, of unquestionable morals, and when she rolls out of bed, she can immediately kiss the hero. She doesn't even have morning breath. Come on! Throw a fault in there somewhere. When I read heroines like this, it drives me crazy. I immediately imagine something is wrong with her, like a big hairy mole on her ass. But no, her skin is smooth as butter. Not a blemish in sight. How boring can you get?

I read a lot, and love a complex heroine. What I've found too many times is a perfect heroine. Even clumsiness can make a heroine endearing.

The hero always has faults. Maybe not physical, but he has them. Jealousy, a scar, a limp, a less than perfect childhood. They get all the interesting stuff. The faults create conflict. How can you have conflict with a perfect character? Remember the the song, "Look at Me I'm Sandra Dee" from "Grease"? That song is how I feel about perfect heroines. They make me want to barf, and close the book.

15 comments:

  1. I love flawed characters - the more the better, I say!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Never thought that much about it, but you're right, it usually is the hero who has the flaws. In a recent contest, I got back my entry for Branded with the comment that Aspen should be more forgiving of her father's abandonment. Huh? Why?
    Cause she wasn't being a Sandra Dee, that's why.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hmm - I can't think of any picture perfect heroines. Maybe our genre has improved over the years, but it feels like authors work pretty hard to make sure everyone has at least one flaw. Now you've got me wracking my brain!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I just had to come and check this out! Nature is perfect and not perfect at the same time. I hate perfection in both my heroes and heroines. Blech.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm with you, D'Ann. I can't think of anyone who would be forgiving over being abandoned. *nods* You go girl.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Christi, in the past year, I've read three perfect heroines, two were in medievals and one regency. All three drove me berserk.

    ReplyDelete
  7. LOL. I love your posts!

    You have to wonder if the author writing the heroine is doing it as a mirror of what she thinks she is or a projection of who she wants to be.

    But, flawed is definitely more interesting. Nobody's perfect and how can we mere mortals relate to a heroine who is perfect?

    ReplyDelete
  8. HA! Loved this!!! :) That picture IS perfect for this post. That song about Sandra Dee makes me laugh all the time. You're right though...we need flaws in our characters!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for stopping by everyone. Lynne, that song always made me laugh too. Especially when she says, "Keep you filthy paws, off my silky draws!" Cracks me up every time.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You are SO right!!!! I read one series in which the heroine veers so close to this that I often skip the sections which are just about her. Even her flaws are made to seem attractive. I can never decide if the author doesn't SEE them, or if, since she's using 1st person, she is trying to show us that the heroine is oblivious to them herself. It's dangerously close to Mary Sue. The other thing that bugs me is when the hero is so obviously superior to the heroine (even though he may be flawed), that you have NO IDEA what he sees in her! You're thinking "wow, what a wench you are," and suddenly the hero is declaring his undying love for her and you're left shaking your head in confusion. "Feistiness" is all well and good, people, but I have yet to meet a man who married a woman solely because she was "feisty." BTW, those are some serious crow's feet there on "high school" Sandra Dee, lol!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Leah, you hit the nail on the head! I have often disliked or found a heroine so boring, I couldn't figure out what the hero saw in her either. And it was never explained. He was suddenly her lap dog. I guess because he had to. After all it's a romance. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Good post. And Leah, I'm with you on the "what does he see in her?" thing, too.
    Another thing that makes me put a book down is when the characters do something out of character or really, really stupid.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Tam, you should read the posts from earlier in the week. It's something that had the hackles rising in my blog mates too!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Way far back, when I had my first "real" book written, the husband of a friend read it. He was amazed at how well I put words together and even wrote a whole book (he hung out with literary types who spent years perfecting one sentence). However, as he said it: "He's handsome and rich, she's gorgeous and finally has her dream job. Who give a ****" Since then I've never tried to write a "perfect" character

    ReplyDelete