I won't be talking about me, even though both "flawed" and "female" are applicable, lol. I want to talk characters for a minute. Particularly characters in contemporary or romance fiction.
Something I've learned from writing, reading, publishing, is that readers are generally more forgiving of a flawed male character than a flawed female. I take a book I've read recently where the female lead had a boyfriend who was a big jerk. The reader could obviously see this quality about this guy, because he wasn't the love interest. But the character couldn't see it. Or she didn't want to. She was stubborn, maybe a little scared, but she was also being manipulated. This character is 18.
I read reviews before I read books, normally. And the reviews on this one were split, but most mentioned how dumb they felt the main character was for dating someone who was obviously wrong for her. But not many mentioned how the main male lead had a relationship with the main girl, but up and left without a word. He left her ditched, broken, and she fell into a relationship she felt was safer because her heart wasn't fully in it. She made mistakes. She fought with her head and her heart through the whole book. I sympathized with her because I understood how hard it would be to trust someone who left.
Yet, it was our female lead who got the brunt of the negative reviews even though BOTH characters made mistakes.
Even though that scares me (because let's face it, we all want readers to love our characters as much as we do) I can't stop writing those girls. I feel like it's important for people (not only teens, but everyone) to see that we can overcome our mistakes. That we can still be good people even if our decisions aren't always the right ones. It's okay to be flawed if we work to "unflaw" ourselves.
Spell for the day: