Thursday, March 3, 2011

I Need a Heroine

As a member of the female race and an avid reader and writer there are certain qualities I connect with in characters. Obviously like many others I love the strong male leads of questionable morality, the ever faithful and loyal best friend, but the most important character in the story for me is the heroine. (Unless of course the story centers around then guy then just reverse all of that, the idea still holds for me)

I have had this discussion often with my friends about what draws us into a story and keeps us going. Through these discussions I have learned that I am a character based reader. If I do not love or at least like the characters I do not care about the story. For me, it doesn’t matter how good the story is, if there is no one in it that I feel a connection with I probably won’t finish the book.

A prime example is Twilight. I know everyone and their sister loved it, but I never made it on the bandwagon. The issue I had was Bella. I never had a clear picture of who she was or what she really wanted. There was no emotional connection with her so the story fizzled and was out like a glittery vampire at a drag show.

So on that note here is my top five qualities I look for in the female lead in a book.

1. Personality- The lead character needs to have some substance for me. Something I can connect back to her, something that will give me and idea of what is in character for her or what is not. Anything really so long as it is uniquely hers.

2. Flaws- I love flaws. We are all flawed, and let’s face it perfection is boring. Let the character make mistakes, let her overreact, let her not communicate, let her misjudge people because that is human. We all do these things everyday so it makes the character more real when they do them too. But not too much…

3. Insecurities- I have never met a woman who wasn’t insecure about something. It may not be obvious and it doesn’t have to be flashy or in your face, but everyone is insecure about something.

4. Sense of humor- I just really like to laugh, so characters that are snarky, witty, or wise cracking always appeal to me most. Again this can be over done, but the perfectly timed joke to break up the tension is always appreciated by me.

5. Strength- I am not too into reading about damsel’s in distress. I like my female characters to be able to stand up for themselves when they have to maybe even occasionally do the rescuing. Now I am not talking Wonder Woman strong, but also not someone who is being captured and rescued around every corner (though occasionally is perfectly acceptable).

What qualities do your favorite lead characters possess?


Pamela Mason said...

Hi Lizzie,
I like all your listed Heroine qualities, especially insecure and flawed. I identify with those who are um, 'curvy' myself.
I would add 'SMART'. I love to see a heroine outwit the bad guy/gal, and even the hero. Not in the fashion of "Take that! I win!" but more like "Didn't think I had it in me, didja?"
Enjoyed this!

Liz Schulte's Blog said...

I debated between smart and strong for a while. They are equally important to me. However, as a reader I think I have encountered more weak characters than unintelligent ones.

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