So we were out on a walk and talking about Colin Firth, and whether he was fanciable or not. I said yes.
My friend countered with, 'But if you were Bridget Jones, you'd have been much better off shagging Hugh Grant, because he was fun. Whereas Mark Darcy was set to carry on being stuffy and repressed.'
'Ah, but it's not all about the shagging,' I riposted (I have these intellectual sort of conversations). 'Hugh Grant is all very well in his own way, but Mark Darcy thinks Bridget is perfect just as she is. He loves her, with all her faults.'
Writing's a funny way of making a living. You invent this set of people and give them stuff to do, and then see where it develops. This takes a long time - a year, usually, though the more literary your writing, the longer the industry will give you to produce the book. You have to love your characters to put up with them for so long.
When I was doing my MA in Creative Writing, there was one WIP I loathed because the main character was so perfect. Nothing she did was wrong. Her make up never smudged. She was kind to children and animals. She helped old ladies across the road. These are all good things, but frankly, she was hateful. She wasn't lovable because, unlike Bridget Jones, she had no faults.
Bridget has faults, and Mark Darcy - and millions of people across the world - loves her for it, and we love him for loving her. So when you're writing give your characters faults. The more faults they have, the easier it is to love them.