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Spunky and Strong

When going into writing a new story, one of the first things I want to know is what kind of a person my protagonist is. Are they funny or straight laced? Do they fall in love easily or closely guard their heart? Are they the type to run into the flames to save people, or did they start the fire?

Every author has their own way of figuring out their character’s personality, and every reader has their preference for what kind of character they most connect to.

Working mostly in Young Adult Fantasy, the options are endless. There are no rules of society our characters need to obey, because we as authors make the rules and we create the societies. And for me, that lack of boundary is especially freeing when working with females.

In a time when we have Hermione, Katniss, and Beatrice vying for readers’ love, I wanted to know what kind of heroine readers seek out. I put up a poll to see what kind of leading ladies people prefer. Are people looking for fearsome fighters, saviors of the world, or the kind of girl with the spunk to do anything?

Readers want their female protagonists spunky. And when you think about it, that preference makes a lot of sense. Spunk can encompass so many things. Daring, innovation, resilience. We as authors shape the way our readers view the world and themselves, even if only for the short time they’re consuming our story.

Giving readers female heroines with the spunk to change imaginary worlds can influence readers to dare to change the real world. And who knows? Maybe our spunky girl will find herself saving the world in a kick butt sword fight.

We need strong females, and we as writers have the privilege of crafting them.

What are your thoughts on heroines? Do you agree with the poll? Do you have a completely different ideal?

Post your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to mention your favorite leading lady.

Want to vote in this week’s poll? Follow my Twitter page, and keep an eye out for the debate on the perfect paranormal creature/person readers want to see.

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