I'm sorry, but I wrote a bit of a manifesto. Here goes.
I'm a human who screws up sometimes, and as such, I find it comforting and endearing when characters in books make mistakes too. Characters who are perfect aren't inspiring to me; they're usually boring, in fact. Sure, if all the main characters are so flawed that they're obnoxious and I wouldn't want to hang out with them ever, I might take off one star on my book review for that alone. If they commit truly awful deeds and display unashamed bigoted thinking, AND they never seem to realize it's a problem and aren't any better by the end of the book, then yeah, that's a sucky book right there and it deserves a scathing one-star review.
But your basic subtle human flaws--someone saying the wrong thing or making a dumb choice because they're stressed or emotional--those resonate with me, and those are also *necessary* for a compelling drama. In fiction, a character must go through struggles, and if the struggles are solely external (human or paranormal antagonists, forces of nature, harsh circumstances), that's going to be less interesting than a story that includes internal conflicts too (characters facing and overcoming their own flaws).( Collapse )