This week on Eve's Fan Garden, a website for reviews on books, movies, music, and lots of interviews and contests, they are having what's called the Midsummer Night's Chat. They have tons of Author Guest Blogs--and I mean A LOT of them. And today's featured the subject of the strong female protagonist. Well, I have female protagonists (well, all of my stories have them but one) and still, I always felt like there was something missing from my characters. Now that I look back at them, I can't see their strengths now--yeah, some of them have small strengths here and there, but right now, at the stages of the story they are in, they don't have that much.
Geez, my first female protagonist, Catherine "Cat", is a wuss. The only strength I know she has is the one that saves her and her best friend at one point in the story from the villain. Still, that's the ONLY part where she shows her strength. She's a good dancer, yes, and that helps her physically through her training as she learns her powers, but nevertheless, where's the emotional and mental strength? I think she gets it more on in the next couple of books when she learns where she comes from as she researches her family ties and later on in the last book where there is a big old battle with the enemy and there is a lot of death on both sides. However, I now know I need to look back at her and her story and go, "Now, where are you hiding your strength?"
Then there is my other female protagonist, Emma. She's incredibly shy and quiet, but if put up to the task, she can get the job done and stand up for herself and speak out. That's rarely ever needed from her though. I believe her strength is more along the lines of being selfless and helping her dad out for three years after her mom dies instead of going off to college. Out of all my characters I've created, and even though she is also the most stubborn, Emma is my favorite. I don't think I'd keep on going with my stories if she weren't in my head.
And also the authors who blogged talked about our own human selves and how these strong female protagonists help us as well in our lives. I love to think of them as examples and as I go through my life or watch my daughter grow up, I think of situations that some of these characters go through in their stories and try to remember how they got out of it. Yes, some of these things are outlandish because I read Young Adult Paranormal Romance (that's because that's what I am writing), but I still like to see and remember the logic and the attitudes that were held through the situations.
How about you? What do you think makes a strong character? Who are your favorite characters of strength? How do you go about helping your weak characters stronger so they can move forward? Just some food for thought.