I like to have a lead, a hero, a protagonist who changes emotionally.
I read one James Paterson book. I hated it. I have read others in that genre. It is not for me. I don’t need to see a character running around like James Bond, where nothing touches him personally and he is strictly a powerful piece on a chess board. (Note that the last two James Bonds, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig display more emotions in their rolls.)
In The Lord of the Rings, Frodo must grow in strength and change dramatically before he overcomes his challenges.Scarlet O’Hara in GWTW starts as a silly tart and in the end assumes an heroic, if tragic, destiny. In The Verdict with Paul Newman, the lead faces his great weaknesses, risks everything he has and becomes the man he always hoped he would be.
Currently I am working on a novel, The Girl from Outer Space. My lead starts out about as unlikable a person as you can find. He suffers (literally goes through fire) and is rewarded in the end. My fear in writing this book is that people will dislike him, Donny Dunning, too much at first.