There is a security for readers in a central character who usually comes out winning in the end. There are literary behaviour patterns that attract readers to certain types of stories and characters.
When I set about writing my version of 'Robin Hood' it wasn't long before I found he wasn't perfect. As I wrote then Steele developed and took over his own development it became plain that the man is not as pure as the driven snow. This realism then begins to have a knock on effect and as I approach the end of the 7th Steele novel, Earth Plc, Steele's human frailties are beginning to have an influence over the plot!
You may wonder at this because when all said and done I'm the author! I have eluded to this in previous blogs and I know other writers who have had similar experiences. I suppose its almost like giving birth but without the gas and air! Your character is rather like a friction driven toy car with you giving the initial push to get it going but then the momentum imparted to the engine takes over and off the vehicle goes hitting objects, jumping gaps and hopefully coming to rest upright and unscathed. That final point is where I'm coming from today.
Where is it written that a storyline, rather like a road, doesn't twist and turn to the point that the hero comes a cropper and for once fails in his efforts. There is a danger that regular readers may lose their bottle and sneak away to pastures new but on the other hand it may just engender new respect for the character. Of course the hope is that it creates a conversation point that encourages people to talk to their friends about the stories and more customers are developed as a result.
Since the first Steele novel the man has changed, loved, lost and loved again but is usually successful in his efforts to bring about justice. I'm wondering on this occasion if the man is taking me in a different direction.