Dec 2 2016 8:03am

How Flawed Is Too Flawed?

Recently, members of Team H&H got in an argument healthy discussion, about flawed characters. It's something that many authors have to walk the fine line with—to the point that it becomes the Goldilocks syndrome of “just right.” We want character that are flawed and imperfect and human, but still redeemable, because while that a**hat at your coffee shop surely has a great story... he's stil an a**hat and you don't necessarily want to read a book about him.

Has there been times when a character is too flawed? Can they be flawed in a quirky way? Where do you draw the line?

Tell us about it in the comments!

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Carmen Pinzon
1. bungluna
A good author can make me believe in the very devil's redemption, as long as the character maintains continuity of traits. If the redemption comes with extreme personality changes, I just can't buy it.
2. Renee1
Poldark has been KILLING me with this lately. It edged a bit into the too flawed zone for me. I really hope Season 3 gives us more redemption!
3. Heather RR
For me, I can't handle mean. It's something I can't abide in real life, movies, or books. Mean has no justification. It's just malice.
Heather Waters
4. HeatherWaters
If the character has a good heart, I can forgive most anything if I see the journey to redemption.
Teddy Pierson
5. TeddyP
When something becomes flawed is when it is too flawed.
6. Lolane
I still want to feel sympathy for the character, at least when I'm reading or watching romance. I can handle a lot of flaws in a romantic lead, but at the end of the book I still want to like them on some level. When I want to read about characters I don't like I pick up a different genre from romance.
7. SpiritedMuse
I so love this topic. As I often felt like characters such as Zsadist, before he was redeemed by Bella was too flawed. I mean I get he was kidnapped as a kid, made a slave, and abused the majority of his life. And didn't have any kind of therapy for his issues for years. But feeding on humans(when we know he didn't need to do so to survive(which made it all the more predatory to me), threatening Mary when they first met(I truly felt scared for her), and even having his brother be his keeper(rather he asked for it or not, but going the way he was, he was asking for someone to keep track of him), was just too flawed to me.

The only thing that made me change my mind, was how Bella loved him through all of that. As well as how he wanted to change for his daughter. I could have cared less about how he could sing like an angel, and it was good he eventually worked with Mary on his emotional issues. But I'm not a fan at all of characters that find it acceptable to be cruel and prey on others that way. I mean, even though I know the choice is always up to the character to do the right thing or the wrong one. But honestly, at times I always wonder when will the character just snap and be like "NOTHING and NO ONE, is going to deter me from the dark path I'm on". And just completely go over to the darkside. Because what is truly stopping them from doing so?
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