CHARACTER: moral excellence and firmness

Today, I'd like to discuss CHARACTER as defined above from Webster's dictionary. In the R for The Heart of the Negotiation, my heroine's character was one of the reasons citing why the book was rejected. That's understandable. She has some questionable motivation in the book (went to work for our hero in order to spy on his business for his chief rival), and saying that she made her huge mistakes because she wanted to keep her ex-lover's (aka: chief rival mentioned earlier) affections isn't really a good excuse for her behavior.

She knows what she did was wrong. She is forced to make a moral decision in the end, and she chooses to do the "right" thing instead of the "easy" thing. Obviously, I wasn't able to get down on paper what was in my head or I might have pulled off her character arc better.

I knew going in that having a heroine who was on the shady side might cause problems, but I LOVE it when a character does things in the beginning that we might not approve of.

This weekend, I watched an episode of The Closer. Brenda fascinates me because although her intentions are good (put murders behind bars) sometimes she crosses the line and causes damage to others in order to achieve her goals. In this episode, she sends a guilty man (who won't confess his guilt, but we know he's guilty) to county jail under another man's name, knowing that he will be killed. As they marched this evil man away, I was shocked that she did this and that she got away with it. What does that say about her character? Not good things as far as I'm concerned. What does it say about my character that while I'm not sure I could have done what she did, she's become a bit of a hero to me because of what she chose to do?

I find it interesting that in the series line I read most often (Silhouette Desire) that the heroes are allowed to blackmail and take revenge for wrongs done against them. The heroes can lie, compel the heroine into bed, force them into marriage, threaten to take away their child, etc., and no one questions their character. Why is it okay for men to behave badly, but not women?

How about you? Do you prefer your characters squeeky clean? If not, how far are you willing to let them stray from moral excellence and firmness?

Today's goal: Finish chapter 6 of Bending
Yesterday's achievement: Finished judging my FAB entries
What I'm grateful for: Insurance company is not going to total my car. YIIPPEEEE!!!
Quote: "Character is what you have left when you've lost everything you can lose." -Evan Esar (1899 - 1995)