What makes a good heroine?

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:41 am by Kay

I am once again participating in a Round Robin. The topic is what type of heroine–traits, personality, etc–makes me want to continue reading her story?

I think it might be easier to know what kind I don’t like: weak. Life may have taken her down a rough road and she may be struggling to get where she wants to both in spirit and body, but I need to know she’s not a milksop. There needs to be a hint of a backbone.

And yet, I need to be sympathetic with her plight/life circumstances. I don’t know how many novels I’ve chucked to the wall because I just don’t care what happens to the heroine. In one notable (but forgettable as to title and author) book, I was actually on the villain’s side where the heroine was concerned, that if he would just go on and dispense with her, then this torture would be over. I came to my senses, noted the entire enterprise unworthy of my time, and out that book went also.

I’d like to think I write heroines who can hold their own with the hero and with everyone else. That they’re not too proud to ask for help nor too selfish to give it. That they can see beyond outer appearances to the inner person, although not at the beginning or what would I put between the first and last chapters?

I want my reader to go on the journey of discovery and self-realization with my heroine. It’s a romance–we know the destination–but we also know there are black moments and times it seems impossible for the author to bring it all together and make our heroine and hero worthy of each other.

I guess that’s it: I want worthy characters, worthy heroines. Worthy of my effort to pen them and bring them to life and worthy of a reader’s time to be involved in their lives.

In short, I want a heroine I could also call a friend.

If you’re interested in the topic, please continue on with these authors.

Lynn Crain at http://www.awriterinvienna.blogspot.com
Ginger Simpson at http://mizging.blogspot.com
Connie Vines at http://connievines.blogspot.com/
Geeta Kakade at http://geetakakade.blogspot.com/ (Welcome!)
A.J. Maguire at http://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


  1. Rhobin said,

    January 25, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Good post! enjoyed your views.

  2. Diane said,

    January 25, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Nicely said, Kay! I like your concept of creating characters you would like have as friends.

  3. Fiona McGier said,

    January 25, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I also enjoy heroines I’d like to be friends with. Who among us hasn’t had to distance themselves from friends who keep complaining and asking for advice, then ignore your suggestions and make the same dumb mistakes again? Totally frustrating. If a woman can’t learn from previous mistakes so at least she doesn’t make THOSE ones again, then she’s TSTL–too stupid to live, and I don’t want to read about her pitiful existence waiting to be rescued by Prince Charming. I’m way past that.

  4. Marci Baun said,

    January 25, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    HAHAHA, Fiona. I love the TSTL. So true.

    It seems that a lot of us agree on the heroines, Kay, although we are all saying it in a different way. I used to “muscle” my way through books I didn’t like, but now, I see my time as being more valuable. Why waste time on something I don’t like when I can find something I do? :)


  5. Beverley Bateman said,

    January 25, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Liked your post and your description of heroines – especially that last line – someone you could call a friend. That’s perfect.

  6. Ginger Simpson said,

    January 25, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Nice post, and although I base my heroines more on my own experiences, I don’t think I’d mind being friends with any of them. Not every woman can be strong all the time, and I want my women who lack strength to have someone to identify with so they know they aren’t the only one who needs validation. Of course…I love those women who “kick ass.”

Leave a Comment