Let’s talk about the writing “strong” female characters phenomenon. As a writer, I enjoy creating multilayered characters, especially characters that show growth over the course of a story. However, I don’t necessarily set out to write a character that is strong (physically and/or emotionally). I try to craft my female protagonist to be intuitively recognizable to my readers—meaning that they can in some way identify with her. She’s tangible and authentic, just as they are. Heroines in books especially for teens become role models, whether we want them to be or not, and I think writers have some responsibility to be conscious of that. People look up to these characters and connect with them, or sometimes, it’s the opposite.
That said, I don’t write to teach or preach—but I would hope that my material would inspire great conversation and/or open doors to communication between teens and parents or within discussion groups. I’m an avid reader of books, young adult books especially, and when I started writing, I knew that I wanted my heroines to be strong (as in independent) but relatable, because their growth in the story has to be believable. As a reader, you have to connect with the heroine and be willing to be a part of her journey. The heroine’s story has to encompass elements that any reader/teen can accomplish, even if they’re not the most powerful witch in the world or a cybernetic super soldier or an alien sea princess. For me, the perfect heroine has to be multidimensional so that readers can find some part of themselves in her.~ read more ~