I’m curious, what stories are there that allow you to customize the ex-LI (aka a LI who breaks up with or otherwise isn’t supposed to be endgame with your MC)? I just find it an interesting choice when authors allow you to do that, seeing as LIs are customizable so you can make them look like your idea of hot, but customizing an ex-LI isn’t exactly the same thing because you aren’t meant to romance them. Should ex-LIs be customizable in general, or does it fall under the problem of making too many characters customizable? Thoughts?
(For what it’s worth, I’ve only seen a few stories that use this. Men and Mascara lets you customize the ex-boyfriend, and Dream Escape lets you customize…well, I can’t say because that’d be a spoiler, but it’s a character who’s definitely not a love interest.)
I don’t like cutomizing LIs. You don’t get to customize or change the look of the person you may or may not fall in love with in real life, nor do you have to live as them. I understand why authors include self-customization in stories where you are the MC and you get a say in how he/she behaves, but I think other characters should be left alone. So to answer the question “Should ex-LIs be customizable?” I’d say no. However, it’s just a minor nuisance. It won’t stop me from reading the story. I’ll likely just leave them with their default look as I usually do with any characters who aren’t the MC.
The author should just try and be clear that the ex-LI is in fact an ex-LI. You don’t want your readers to customize their dream LI only to find out that they won’t get to date him/her in the end.