Perfect Is Dull
Good books have good conflicts – both internal and external.
When I created the main characters my Mind’s Eye series, I purposefully gave them numerous flaws and both internal and external problems because these characters had to fuel several books. I had planned on three novels for sure – and possibly more.
One reviewer was reluctant to read the first two because I mentioned that my hero struggled with his feelings for the heroine and wasn’t sure he could be faithful to her. This completely turned off the reviewer, even though I explained that the hero was actually in love with the heroine, but he was trying to keep up some defenses because he expected her to leave him. Conflict. That’s what that is – character conflict that is rooted in past experiences.
The reviewer’s stance made me think that she was missing out on a lot of good books! If the hero had to fall madly in love with the heroine and have no qualms or insecurities about it, then it’s all on the heroine to fuel the conflict. How is that fair? I suppose the heroine has to be the same way – in love and sure of it. So, where’s the conflict? Has to be all external, which can be less than stellar.
However, I understand some of these “I won’t read a book that has . . .” reader rules. I used to say I would not read a book with a love triangle or one where the hero does dastardly things. I have since read those and enjoyed them! A good writer can destroy your preconceived notions and "rules" about what you think constitutes a tale well told!
So, if you’re setting up reader rules – be careful. You’re missing out on the “spice” of trying something new. Give writers a chance to win you over! Allow them to court you. Maybe you’ll spurn them in the end, but at least you will have tasted something sinfully different.