My Girl Wednesday

Hump Day is almost past and I have to say exploring the heroine these past few weeks has given me a moment to pause and consider what we all look for in the female stars of our stories.

Is she the tough spunky type ready to fight battles with the hero sometimes becoming part of the problem rather than a solution?

Or is she so capable and kick ass that she hardly needs the hero to conquer her own demons but somehow he completes something missing in her personality so they are a natural fit?

What does your heroine bring to the table for skills, character arch and vunerability?

10 responses to “My Girl Wednesday

  1. Great question!

    I look for realistic heroines. I love a strong woamn who can handle her own problems but I also like her to show some vulnerability. I dislike the alpha, mean girl heroine. I have a hard time identifying with characters that stomp all over the people around her.

    • You know RD Carter. I have never liked the kick ass heroine. I couldn’t really put it into words but I think you’ve done that quite well. The alpha heroine is just too much for me. She often stomps on those around her as part of her alpha predisposition.

      Unfortunately the waife, I’m told, doesn’t sell well. But, I think I like that underdog waive who rises up to be stronger than anyone expected.

  2. I have a kick ass heroine. But she’d rather not. What does that make her?

  3. I don’t know! There is a certain endearing quality to the reluctant kick ass heroine. The role being thrust upon her and she unwillingly picks up the reins to save the day because she is there…because someone has to….

    What do you think?

  4. I was just reading two interesting blog posts, one at The Galaxy Express and the other a review from Mrs. Giggles. The GE post was regarding whether SFR heroines are allowed to kill the bad guys (killing = lack of morality/purity even if the killing is justified). Some commentors mentioned not wanting the heroine to just be an action alpha male with boobs (ok, MY words, not theirs, but the gist is the same : ). On the other hand, the Mrs. G review was hot about heroines in historicals who are touted by the author as being the greatest spy/assassin in France or England, but they cry everytime they have to kill someone. Surely there is a middle ground, somewhere a heroine can be tough without beating herself up for doing her job. That is what I strive for in my heroines.

    • I hear you Cathy. I’ve browsed across some of my favorite authors lately and where I have found some interesting shifts. In the past I have perhaps found their stories with strong male characters and a story that essentially revolves around “his” action with supporting partnering female cast. I am now seeing a female driven story with the male character as the side kick. And you know what…. I’m not sure I like it.

      Your comments are interesting. What will women readers want to find ? Certainly not alpha’s with boobs. I love that analogy, by the way. And did authors build their own cliche’s in how they softened their female action characters?

      • The only cliches I can think of is that these tough, kickass women often have had troubled childhoods that “force” them to be the assassin/spy/whatever they became. Why can’t they simply choose this path and be happy with their jobs? My thief character is. Well, until she falls for the person she’s stealing from anyway : )

        I hope readers will call for that happy middle. I’m not fond of the uber alpha male to begin with, so the uber alpha female would likely irk me as much, if not moreso. I don’t have a problem with the female taking the lead and the male being the sidekick, but I don’t want him to be completely emasculated by her either. Is it sexist to want women to behave like women and men to behave like men? I don’t think so, because there is a very wide range of behaviors for each. It’s how the author presents the character and the character’s reaction to what’s happening.

        We want our heroines to be strong, but at some point show a softer side. Not necessarily fall apart soft, but have some vulnerability. And yeah, if she has to kill/betray someone, let her do it. Feel bad about it? Maybe, depending on circumstances, but have her do what needs to be done for the story as well as the character.

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