I was giving serious thought to one of my heroines this week in contrast to some of the heroines I have been reading and watching in movies lately. Unlike those intrepid women, my heroine is not an amazon and the call to her adventure has been thrust upon her rather than accepted.
While she won’t cry over a broken nail and she knows the world doesn’t revolve around her, in archetype she’s quite the sheltered, clueless maiden. Being the cruel to my characters author that I am, she’s been pushed into situation after situation forcing her to defend her life and others. Recently, I had to write a scene where she was forced to pick up a crossbow and use it against someone she knew and cared about in order to defend the man she loves. She was not a happy camper. Thank goodness, over the course of the story she has been growing some gumption and steel in her spine, but honestly, my sweetie is never going to willingly kick a@@.
Then there’s the opposite situation – the tough amazon archetype heroine needs to be the girly-girl, like Sandra Bullock’s character Gracie Hart in the movie Miss Congeniality. Is that an easier transition than a maiden becoming a warrior woman?
Who is your favorite heroine, novel or movie, who acts against or changes her type?
How about your own heroines?
Writing Prompt: Write a scene where your heroine is acting against her “type.” Think about her motivation. Does she long to be her opposite type or is this merely a passing role-play. How do those around her view her actions? Is she confident or anxious about the success of her switch?
Left: Cynthia Lutes
Right: Mike Johnson – TheBusyBrain.com, CC: By