Kick Butt – The Internal Heroine

November 14, 2007 at 11:15 am | Posted in Bria, character, heroines, writing, young adult | Leave a comment

It isn’t until her girlish crush grows into loving him as a woman that my heroine realizes she can’t stay. Up until then, Faela’s been along for the ride – fighting back with little rebellions while secretly hoping the Brennid will fall in love with her.When he does, she sees that, with he’s flaws and betrayals, it just might not be worth it.  The most kick-butt thing my heroine does is leave.

What? She ran away? Doesn’t that make her passive?

No. She left him. And there is a world of difference. It seems like if the heroine isn’t steering the world around her, making everyone dance to her tune, saving the world from Armageddon, forcing the hero to her will, or trying to save Great-grandpa Joe’s independent newspaper – she must be passive.

I love to read about heroine’s who struggle to play within the rules of their society and win. Who know that it’s self that defines their world as much as actions.

If Elizabeth Bennett had grabbed the family carriage and rushed to London we would have all thrown the book down. But, for some reason now, we expect a heroine to play by in this worlds and today’s rules no matter when or where she is.

To me, that isn’t overcoming the odds, it’s stacking the deck.

Often, especially in literature, we choose to see things in the lowest, easiest common-denominator.

She left = running
Love = conquers all
People = good OR bad

Faela, if we jump to Tami Cowden’s site again, is a combination of Waif and Spunky Kid for most of the book (wait till you meet the new Faela in book 2!)

But, no matter how much of a metamorphous your characters go through, she’s still the same person. Every time Faela grows and her personality shifts a little, I ask myself “Is this true to her or am I creating an ideal for no defendable reason?”

Yes, I want her to overcome things. Yes, I want her to grow as a character. Yes, I want you to love her like I do. But I want it to be REAL.

Luckily, I write YA and for some reason teens haven’t lost this sense of inner-struggle as the ultimate prize yet. They still understand that being true to yourself or compromising who you are is THE defining issue in life.

Once again, let’s talk about Elizabeth Bennett – she doesn’t compromise her beliefs or self to marry Darcy to ‘save the family farm’ so to speak. Not until she sees her own flaws and his own goodness does she come to understand her own heart.

And so, I ask you – Who are your favorite heroines and what makes her worth loving? 

Tell me, I’m always looking for a new character to love!

Go Write


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