Tuesday, October 12

Heroines Wear Spurs, Too

This week on WordWranglers we're talking about heroines.

As Christi mentioned yesterday, I too usually start with the heroine, although I do have exceptions.


I picked this week's topic. Why? Hasn't everything that's to say about heroines been said?

Probably. But here's my take...

I read on someone else's blog all the reasons a cowgirl makes a great heroine. I loved it, and meant to save it.

It got me to thinking about the type of heroines I prefer. City girls? The kind who rush through traffic and worry about Jimmy Choos? Not for me. I do have one like that, and it's difficult for me to get in her head.

For me, and I'm speaking only for me, I like a woman who can cook a great meal, doctor a sick animal, build a fence, handle horses and cattle.

Because those women are like me? Like my daughter and friend Kelley pictured here?

Maybe.

But I think it's more because it's easier for me to get in their head. I understand that kind of heroine. Where she comes from, what makes her tick.

But that's the job of the writer, you say, to create a character unlike ourselves. I agree with that.

However, I want to write the kind of heroines I like to read about. Those I can relate too. For me, that will always be the cowgirl heroine. To this day, when asked what my favorite book is, I always go back to Janet Dailey's Calder series.

Does this mean I don't read all heroines? Of course not. I read every kind, and enjoy them.

I'm curious, what kind of heroine is your favorite? Could you write someone so different from yourself that there were no parts of you sprinkled in?

Pull up a chair, I'll pour you a cup of coffee and let's talk heroines.

19 comments:

  1. I like cowgirls because they are equals of the men they mirror. They have grit.

    Nan

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  2. Good point, Nan.
    Glad you came by. I've missed seeing you here.

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  3. I like a heroine who can take care of herself. Tough. And I wouldn't be able to write about someone who was quite my opposite. I think a writer would do a much better job of filling out the character when the two have things in common!!

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  4. Hi, Anna.
    I quite agree. Thanks for coming by!

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  5. I like down to earth women who are feisty and loyal. I tend to love heroines from the west because they are gritty. Though I do enjoy regencys.

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  6. I guess profession doesn't matter so much to me as having determination. Can't stand reading heroines who are fainting flowers. blech.

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  7. Kathy and Piper~
    Heroines with grit, that's the common denominator for me. I can read any profession as long as the heroine has bottom, and I don't mean a big ass (although that's ok too)!

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  8. It is more a question of what I can't stand in a heroine - there are many out there, in published books, who fall under the TSTL category. Just makes me want to slap them and shut the book!

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  9. Yes, Christi, I think you're right.

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  10. My favorite heroine is Lucky Santangelo. She's a character
    written by Jackie Collins. Now that was a woman that had a pair. That's how I like my heroines. Ballsy. My heroines are not a lot like me, but some of me is sprinkled in.

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  11. I love passionate heroines. And I love heroines that have real flaws. I can't stand virginal, "I love everyone, not to mention birds land on my finger type of heroines. my favorite heroine of all time was...Bess Hardwick. (Virginia Henley)

    -Diana

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  12. I think the draw of the cowgirl (or executive) heroine is that she's an equal. She might be rescued by the hero but he is just as likely to rescue him at some point. I've always been a fan of strong women in the books I read.

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  13. I agree totally, I want heroines I can identify with. To that end, I write tough chicks who curse like sailors, never apologize for who they are and what they want, and yes...obsess over designer heels. Cause that's me!

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  14. Great post D'Ann! While I don't like fixing fence, that's not to say I can't do it. I like a heroine who stands up for herself. Not one that's needy and seeks constant encouragement.

    Great idea for a post.

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  15. It's easiest to write who you know, or who would be a part of yourself...I have a feeling if I wrote a cowgirl, it would need serious research! (like, what side of the horse do you mount)..lol

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  16. I like klutzes, who aren't all that pretty or built that well. They don't excel at much, but they're a good friend to someone, a good daughter, a good sister, and they're someone a guy just can't turn away from even if he wants to.

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  17. I love Eve Dallas in Nora Roberts writing as JD Robb In Death series. All of Nora Roberts heroines are equals to the heroes and have intresting professions. I wrote a historical western but it was rejected due to episodic plot and the developing romance wasn't strong enough.

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  18. I was never much of a cowboy/cowgirl fan, but reading your stuff and knowing you has opened my eyes and whetted my literary appetite. And isn't that what we all want as writers?

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  19. Ah, thanks for this post! It's really making me think about my WIP. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for heroines who are not given to self-examination, perhaps because I am too given to it and like to be in the headspace of someone who just doesn't think about it unless someone else points it out. Heroines who just charge in, damn the consequences, are like a vacation from my own brain. But I agree with Anna in that it is very difficult to write someone with such a different mindset.

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