What makes a protagonist misbehave? She/he is your creation after all. Writers have the ultimate life or death power over the characters they create but invoking the nuclear option and casting them into the darkness is hard. After all, you’ve spent time with them: you know their foibles, feelings and fears. King Lear bemoaned that sharp serpent’s tooth that a thankless child presents and so it is with those who populate our novels.
I want my heroines to be smart, sassy and brave (like me), but sometimes they are shy, self-doubting doom-sayers (also like me). Mystery readers hope to escape everyday drudgery, showcase their detective skills, and enjoy the occasional hot guy. Being mired in misery is no one’s idea of fun, especially mine. I’m selling a lively mix of romantic fantasy where justice prevails and evil-doers are punished, not a poor woman’s version of Crime and Punishment. So it’s time to eliminate unruly characters and create the plucky, upbeat heroines that entertain audiences and sell books.
No hesitation this time: It’s the Tiger not the lady.