Last blog, I talked about archetypes and how they captured the essence of human character. In response, a writer told me about a complete writer’s guide on heroes and heroines. Being a book junkie, I purchased it, interested in seeing how the authors would explain the sixteen master archetypes they felt were recognizable in literature, from past to present.
I have to say I was first disappointed and then annoyed when I skimmed it the first time.
Heroes were broken down into swashbucklers, chiefs, warriors, heroines were classified as waifs, librarians and seductresses.
Not in my books.
I never wanted to be a princess, I wanted to be a czar. And so I create female characters with strength, courage and intelligence. They aren’t prim and proper, and they don’t fall into the category of willing-to-go-along female. They have minds of their own, backbones of steel and the will to accomplish anything they want.
Sure, they have their issues. A story must contain the elements of growth, and sometimes the steel must become more flexible, the intelligence must become tempered with heart and the will must become attuned to other facets of life.
In talking to my friend, the writer, we both agreed that female characters have become more than just a beautiful body. Romance used to thrive on ravishment, conquest, and sexual plunder. Not so much anymore.
We’ve come a long way.