The perfect guy is boring!
I ranted recently about female characters, now it’s time for a go at heroes. Why are they suddenly always perfect? Especially in YA I see heroes with perfect abs, control of their tempers and hormones, money, understanding of their emotions, smell good, and get good grades! The perfect boy to bring home to mom. Where is the growth?
Yes, the heroine is the focus of the story, but, um, he can grow too. And even if he doesn’t, does he need to be perfect? Can’t he suck at something? Math, cooking, one of his pinkie fingers is smaller then the other?
And, yes, I can feel all the YA writers ready for the defense of “they wrote the story for teenagers,” but I’d bet 50% of all YA books are bought by adults. Maybe I should actually try to find if there is any kind of survey on this. Teenagers deserve well-written books, too, with characters that are complex and grow through the story.
Give your characters a fatal flaw it; makes them interesting and gives the reader something to root for. As an adult its hard to love perfect men. My hubby is near perfect, but the way that man loads the dishwasher almost makes me want to take over doing the dishes. Almost.