What makes a heroine?
Honestly? A sense of humor.
The leading lady in any book that I read (or any show that I watch, for that matter) has to have a sense of humor. It doesn’t matter how rough, tough and tumble she is, if she can’t laugh at herself then she’s not worth my time.
True strength is in the ability to recognize and understand our own weaknesses. People who can do that tend to be able to laugh at themselves.
I know there are broody-life-sucks-I’m-dark-and-dangerous female characters out there, but they really don’t interest me. I’ve got enough stuff in my own life to brood over, I don’t need a character to show me how to do it right. What I need is a character who can remind me that even when life sucks there’s something to smile about.
So that’s my fundamental rule while hunting bookshelves. (And if Trenna is any indication, it’s my rule for writing as well.)
Strength comes in various forms, but I’ll admit that I do enjoy watching a woman punch a man in the throat every now and then. (In fiction, of course.) But as I was writing Persona over the summer I came to one particular scene that lingers in my mind. Megan, the main character, is not a fighter. But her moment of strength is when she makes the decision to help an escaped POW even though she knows it’ll put her in danger.
I can punch a guy. I’m trained to do it.
But if I were sitting in Nazi Germany with an unconscious POW in my bathtub and the Gestapo knocking on my door, would I have the strength to hide that man?
I hope so. I certainly admire that kind of bravery. And that’s the kind of bravery I’m looking for out of a heroine. She has to be able to make the right decision even when it could cost her dearly.
And hey, if she can punch a few people while she’s at it and cackle like a madwoman, all the better.
Round Robin Continues with Beverly Bateman! So head on over to her blog and see what she looks for in a heroine.
And just in case you wanted it, here’s the full list of authors writing for this Round Robin event:
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/
Lynn Crain at http://www.awriterinvienna.blogspot.com
Kay Sisk at http://www.kaysisk.com/
Ginger Simpson at http://mizging.blogspot.com
Connie Vines at http://connievines.blogspot.com/
Geeta Kakade at http://geetakakade.blogspot.com/
A.J. Maguire at https://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Beverley Bateman at http://beverleybateman.blogspot.com/
Diane Bator at http://dbator.blogspot.ca
Fiona McGier at http://www.fionamcgier.com
Rhobin Courtright at http://rhobinleecourtright.com