Steel under Silk

imageThe importance of strong female characters in romance novels

If you read enough romance novels, you are bound to come into contact with one of my least favorite tropes – the overly helpless heroine.  This is the heroine who has to be saved by the hero several times in a story.  And I always wonder – doesn’t he ever get tired of saving this lame fuck?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against characters needing to be saved – it’s important in many thrillers and mystery novels (as usually one of the main characters becomes some kind of target of the bad guy/girl).  I’m also totally okay with the heroine needing a bodyguard for one reason or another…especially if he’s moody with sexy stubble.

But, if your heroine has to be saved by the hero more than three times, I think you need to rethink your heroine and remember a few key things –

  • A heroine who needs to depend on a hero to constantly save her does not equal true love. It means she has dependency issues. :p
  • Accident prone is only funny or a vehicle for making out a few times.  Again, if it’s more than three times, you need to rethink if your heroine is accident prone…or just an idiot.
  • Strength in heroines – physical, mental, emotional – makes a sexy heroine and empowers the reader.

So many women underestimate their strength of mind, body, and soul already.  Do we really need to make that fester by creating heroines who must constantly be rescued?

Just remember, it takes strength to do a lot of the things that some romance novels gloss over: to trust and love again, to run a business, to have a career, to take care of ailing friends or parents, to recover from a miscarriage, to have children, to raise children, to overcome health issues, to be independent, and of course… it takes serious strength to have crazy, monkey sex with the hero all night long and still be fabulous in the morning.

So, stop underplaying your heroine’s strengths.  Being wimpy and weak makes your heroine annoying and your storyline tired.  Plus it makes it harder for all of us strong women in the real world to relate to and like your characters. 😉


7 thoughts on “Steel under Silk”

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