Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Heroines are Tricky

Hi everyone! 

Have you ever cracked open a book and by page 5 you can't stand the heroine?  I hate when that happens, but I do feel for the writer.

I’m not sure readers realize how tough it is to write a good heroine.

First off, if you’re writing romance novels, most of your readership is going to be female.  That said; you can’t fake us out.  We know what it’s like to be a girl in love.  We’ve all been there.  Most of us have had our hearts broken, lost jobs, made love, got married, etc.

So how do you give the reader a fresh take on a heroine and still make her believable?

That’s where the tricky part comes in.  She has to be relatable to all of us on some level.  If you make her too kick-ass and/or snarky, she can lean into the bitch arena.  But if you make her too nice and naïve, she can stumble over the line into too stupid to live territory.

What’s a romance writer to do?

We try to balance a heroine on a thin, relatable, tight-rope and hope for the best.  Our heroines will resonate with some readers, while others will wish she was tougher or more loving, snarkier or more caring, smarter or more street smart, more beautiful or less beautiful, etc.  

A writer can drive herself crazy trying to mold a heroine into all those things! LOL

So we muddle through and try to create a balanced heroine, and we hope you’ll come on her journey with her…

So who are some of your favorite fictional heroines?  What drives you crazy when you read about a heroine?



  1. Interesting post, Lisa. Especially pertinent since I'm struggling with the heroine in my WIP. Thanks for giving me something to think about.

  2. Yay! I'm glad it helped Dawn!!!

    I think writing a heroine that people connect with is one of the toughest jobs we have to do as writers because our audience is mostly female...

    Good luck with the WIP!!!

    Thanks for commenting!

    Lisa :)