Monday, 19 August 2013

Creating Strong Female Characters

Women can so easily be conditioned by society to believe that we aren’t worthy of love… everywhere around us there are messages that women are too fat, or too old, or not pretty enough… just not enough. I would say that all women suffer from some sort of insecurity or other.

A male friend of mine once told me that men see their romantic relationships as just one piece of the pie that is their lives, but that relationships for women can often be the whole pie.

Perhaps women do think about relationships more than men do, but a strong woman will never make her relationship the whole pie. It’s vital for a woman to remember her little girl dreams and go out and find them, and to focus on the things that bring her pleasure (her friendships, family, pets, hobbies, interests and sports, for instance). A fulfilled woman is an attractive woman.

In order for a woman to be happy in a relationship, she should choose to be with a man who is crazy about her otherwise she WILL end up hurt. Have you ever read a love story where the hero doesn’t madly cherish the heroine by the end of the book? And yet real-life women, for whatever reason, often stay in relationships where they don’t feel loved or cherished…

Creating female characters in fiction that are both strong AND realistic can be quite tricky, and a balance needs to be struck. Strong female characters must show their vulnerabilities in order to come across as both human and likeable. What’s important, however, in order for the female characters to be termed “strong” is that they don’t allow their insecurities to govern their behaviour at every turn. They should acknowledge their insecurities and hopefully grow and change as the novel progresses.

Healthy men are attracted to happy women who love life and aren’t dependent on a man for their happiness. And I would say that the key to creating a strong female character in a novel is to ensure that she maintains a healthy balance in her life, and loves herself first before she gives her love to any man. Only then will she be truly happy in a relationship.