What Makes A Good Heroine?

I think the most important thing a heroine can have is a brain. There’s nothing sexier than confidence. Nothing more beautiful than a girl who knows her stuff.

I write lots of different types of heroines. They come from my life, usually. I might know them personally or just see them somewhere. Something about a woman’s looks, fashion choice, voice or almost anything else catches my attention and keeps her in my mind. Next thing I know, my heroine begins to resemble the quality that got my attention. I don’t do cookie cutter characters. People are different. Our heroines should be as well. As I look through the books I’ve finished this year/last year I see they’re all beautiful. To me, all women are beautiful though they don’t always know it.

One reason I write a smart heroines: I want to showcase women with brains, street smarts, book smarts, some trade or artistic talent. They are more than curves and soft skin. They live out their passions and/or pursue their dreams. I think readers of all ages can be inspired by a heroine they connect with. Side note: If ever I write a story that encourages a reader to go back to school, open the business they always dreamed of, train for that marathon — whatever it may be, then I’m set. I will die happy. Before I met my husband and dropped grad school like a decaf coffee, I was on my way to becoming a motivational speaker. Okay that was the dream. I was working toward a Masters in counseling and wanted to work specifically with women of any age who lost their way, hope, gumption, or smile. Maybe one of my heroines can do that.

A secondary reason I write a smart heroine is because I do my best to write the perfect hero for her. I contour him to meet her needs. And none of my heroes want to hook up or fall in love with a ding-dong. They too want a challenge, to be inspired, to do better, be more. Ditzy Mc Doe-doe won’t do much in that way for a decent hero.

Bee-tee-dub: I take my own advice too. In case you think I’m all talk :) I seek to learn something new everyday. Then I share it with at least one person. Sometimes they already know my new information. Sometimes they don’t. But either way, it starts a conversation that builds our friendship/relationship. Reminds them that we can talk about anything even something as silly as “In every episode of Seinfeld, there’s a Superman somewhere.” Who cares? I did. It was a fun thing to test. <– And that little nugget of info started a week long Seinfeld marathon for Hubsy and I after kids went to bed. First one to find the Superman got a prize. And that’s all Ima say about that.

Now, I’m off to go learn something! It’s all about the brain.

2 comments to What Makes A Good Heroine?

  • I almost went to grad school for counseling too! I ended up moving to the big city and getting a job in the insurance side of counseling which sadly, completely turned me off from it. To be fair, I also preferred working conventional office hours with a steady paycheck, neither of which are a guarantee in most fields of counseling. But like you, I’ve been inspired to use that experience in my writing. I’m looking forward to going deeper in my next project which has issues related to the foster care system and counseling within it.

  • Stephanie! I love hearing from other psych nerds who turn to writing! LOL You’re my people! I like to think our love and intrigue regarding human behavior makes for pretty fun stories especially where “voice” is concerned. Best of luck in your new project. Count me in for a copy :)

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