Before I start this post, just thought I'd remind you about this giveaway I'm doing. You could win a signed copy of THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US!!
Now down to business.
When I've read complementary MG books with a female main character (i.e. CONFECTIONATELY YOURS, THE TOTAL TRAGEDY OF A GIRL NAMED HAMLET, the later books of YOURS TRULY, LUCY B. PARKER, etc.), there has been a reoccurring theme.
The main character gets in a lot of bad situations, but the character is too perfect.
Let's use CONFECTIONATELY YOURS for our example. And I'm not hating on CONFECTIONATELY YOURS- I think the first one was spot-on and I related Hayley's views and how she dealt with a lot of the craziness going on in her life. But by the fourth book, she seemed weak. There weren't any flaws in her anymore. She suddenly stopped biting her nails and she didn't seem to struggle in school AT ALL. All her troubles seemed to come from relationships.
That's great, but you need the reader to relate to the character. And we all have flaws. So give the main character some flaws so we can really get her. Plus, these "shiny" characters aren't so fun to read about because they seem unrealistic and fake.
(Oh, and by the way, if you are going to make your main character have an amazing hidden talent, please don't let it be giving good advice and then have them get a column in the school newspaper. That has been so overdone.)