As the title might suggest, I’m blogging about heroines.
Been thinking about my current WIP and my heroine lately. She feels a little bland to me. Serviceable, definitely practical, and I’m wondering what I’m going to do to spice her up.
To be fair, she’s not the central character, she’s part of a subplot, cause the romance is a subplot, a major one, but not the core story.. Which could either be really interesting, or me shooting myself in the foot when it comes time to market this book.
I write historicals and while I try and make my heroines fascinating and proactive, they are limited by the restraints of the time period, as well as my own shortcomings as a writer.
I’ve been thinking lately of my favourite heroines. Here’s my list, in no particular order.
1) Anyone who knows me is going to see this coming. Ellen Ripley, Alien, Aliens. I loved her especially in Aliens. She is strong, vulnerable, maternal and completely kick ass. On top of that she’s smart, resourceful and I could go on and on, but she might be my favourite female character ever, and considering the time period when the first Alien came out, one of the earliest true screen heroine’s kicking butt.
2) Buffy. Can’t have this list without Buffy, one of my favourite all time TV shows and a great central character. She became so much more than the Valley girl stereotype in the movie, but again, strong, kick ass, and again vulnerable, with a wonderful sense of humor.
3) Starbuck – Battlestar Galactica – I love that the original character was male and they made him a chick. A chick who’s the best pilot in the fleet, drinks and swears harder than any male on board the ship, and can take a punch with the best of them. I feel they created this character and the last thing they did was define her gender. Then they layered in a sad backstory of abuse and neglect by her mother that explained her self-destructive behavior. I love the contradictions in her, the way she can be cutthroat, but also completely loyal.
4) Jenny Jones – The Promise of Jenny Jones – by Maggie Osborne. I love,love this book, because of Jenny Jones. A large, mean tempered(by her own description) foul mouthed, ungraceful and completely loyal and honest woman who hides her vulnerabilities behind a hard façade. To me Maggie Osborne creates the best heroines out there and Jenny Jones is my favourite of hers.
5) Anita Blake – Laurell K. Hamilton – I loved the first ten of these books, loved the stories, the world building and the sexual tension, but none of these would have worked with out the main character. Anita Blake is capable and straightforward, caring and loyal. A great series till it went off the rails.
There is a theme to my favourite heroines. They all in their own way kick ass. They are all strong, if not physically, then mentally and they all have a deep vulnerability under their hard exteriors.
I believe it’s the contradiction of the strength and vulnerability that makes them so fascinating. They are not all immediately likeable, but they are interesting and intriguing and a benchmark for me.
Benchmarks are important for writers. We need something to use as inspiration, to reach for, and these are my heroine benchmarks.
If I at any point come close, I’ll be a very happy woman.