Daily Archives: March 1, 2012
I ran across this post on Carrie Ann Ryan’s blog which gives an author’s perspective on our discussion relating to flawed heroines from a couple of days ago so I thought I would share it here as it adds to the previous discussion.
I particularly like the fourth paragraph of Ms. Ryan’s blog post where she says, “Other times we need to use faults as a way to soften a character who may otherwise come off as unlikable. Like Tali in LOVE ON LANDING. Tali is your typical rich b*tch. Or is she? Tali’s rich and privileged. She’s the kind of girl who can and does fly off to Paris on her private jet for some retail therapy to get over her ex. And she has an attitude as big as her bank account—not the most likeable person. So I gave her faults—family obligations she doesn’t know how to get out of, a passion in life she has to push aside, and an attitude she uses to protect herself. All of these things take her from unlikeable b*tch to someone we can cheer for.”
I don’t know about you but my initial reaction to someone flying off to Paris on her private jet for retail therapy is UGH! Surely there is something more worthwhile to do with your money than that. My visceral reaction is that’s a self-centered, spoiled character that I don’t connect with…don’t want to read about. Ditto the attitude as big as the bank account.
But then something happens to my reaction in the next sentence when Carrie Ann talks about the problems in this character’s life. My reaction softened when I read she had family obligations she didn’t know how to get out of. I can relate to that…we all can in some format. My empathy for her grew when I read that she has a passion for something in life that she has to push aside haven’t we all faced having to push one thing aside for another? That makes me feel sorry for her…to hope that she finds a way to follow her passion. She suddenly doesn’t seem quite so selfish, quite so self-absorbed. At that point I’m almost eager to read the book to find out what family obligations…what her passion is… When I read that she has an attitude she uses to protect herself I can relate. We’ve all been known to use bravado, bluster, tears, or a loud voice to protect ourselves. That I can relate makes me willing to look over some of her faults.
What about you? As you read about Carrie Anne’s character in her blog post what is your reaction? How does it change as you learn more about the character…as you learn about the problems she faces?
How many flaws and faults are you willing to look over because a character has other life elements that you can relate to? Does your attitude toward Carrie Ann’s character change as you read more about her? Where does it begin to change? What most influences the change?