the most popular post on my old blog, was one where I shared my thoughts on diverse heroines.
There are these stereotypes that female MCs play by, and if you ask me, they're getting old. Sure there's a place for these types here and there, but not in every single movie and novel on the entertainment market. It's almost like each female character falls into one of just a few categories, but why? So today, I thought I would bring up these types again...
The shy girl who probably wears glasses, is insecure, & loves reading.
She doesn't share her emotions very much until the guy comes along, they have a sweet little talk and all of a sudden, she is an open book.
Personally, that's me :) Minus the glasses (but I'm thinking it won't be long before I will be needing some) and the guy... But this is one category of females we see A LOT. There's nothing wrong with this character, but she pops up everywhere.
I really love this sort of girl, because I can relate to her in a lot of ways... but I also have differences from her, so she should have differences from the other girls in this category, too.
Not all nerdy girls wear glasses (and not all girls with glasses are nerdy).
Not all readers (and writers) are introverted and prefer keeping to themselves.
And for most of us, reading isn't our only hobby! I love reading, but there is so much more to me than books and introversion.
The hard-headed girl with awesome skills who is better than all the boys.
She has a cool weapon and can take you out without flinching at the thought, or tiring at the action. She's brave and strong and heroic, and the guys are either jealous of her or kinda like her... a lot.
You can be brave and meek. A gentle lamb CAN roar like a lion.
You can have courage AND be kind (Cinderella anyone?).
You don't have to be straight-faced and hard-hearted to be brave.
And you don't have to be cocky, either. You can have super awesome ninja skills and no one know it until it's really needed because you're not the bragging, show-off type! (So basically what I'm saying is that I only PRETEND that I'm not athletic and stuff, but one day when y'all seriously need it, you'll totally be blown away by my skill. Not to brag or nothin’…) :P
The mean popular girl.
She loves shopping, probably texts too much, has a sketchy past, and wears makeup that can't hide the snooty attitude. I can't say that I have ever fictionally met, a popular girl who wasn't mean at some point in the story.
Okay, not all popular girls are mean. 'Nuff said.
And sometimes... the nerdy girl with glasses likes shopping and texting, too!
What IS a heroine?
Acording to Google's dictionary...
Admired for... Courage. Outstanding achievements. Noble qualities.
That's a lot to work with! What is your character's definition of courage? What is her outstanding achievement? What are her noble qualities?
We are all different.
Some of us are introverts who read and wear glasses. Some of us are sporty and better than the boys at soccer. Some of us are both. Some of us fit into the popular girl group, but aren't snooty and rude but instead love spending time with the people important to us and enjoy things like basketball, too.
We don't all fit into one category, so fictional heroines shouldn't either.
Yeah, Ally's the shy girl. But it isn't because she's afraid of people, but because she's got a big mouth and talks too much, and she's afraid she'll spill her own secret.
Ruth has awesome skills. She's great with a sword, but she doesn't show it off because that isn't her idea of bravery. She'll do it if she has to, but she much prefers tending to the laundry and her younger siblings. To be honest, she's pretty emotional and open about the fact that she doesn't ever want the opportunity to use her swordsmanship.
Janna is a social butterfly who plays sports and likes video games... and she's a part of a book club, too. No, she isn't an introvert, yes she likes to write. She's sarcastic, funny, sporty, and a poetic soul all in one package.
She doesn't have to be 'out there,' just... new. Something about her needs to stand out, because she is her own person.
It's time to mix it up. Create something the world hasn't seen before... except that they have. In real life.
Create a girl that feels real. One who isn't exactly like the other girls... because that's what real girls are--different.
Will these real characters face not-so-real situations in your novel? Chances are, yes. But how would a real girl with a real personality of her own go through these?
AVOIDING CLICHÉS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA IN WRITING... WHAT DO YOU THINK?