Adventure into Romance with Shelley Munro
News About Shelley Blog Books Extras Contact Small Font Large Font

Archive for 'heroines'

Ten Suggestions For Writing Well-Rounded Heroines

I’m visiting Savvy Authors today and talking about heroines. Here’s the link to my post, which contains suggestions for writing a good heroine.

I intend to try and catch up on some writing this weekend, and I’ll be watching the quarter-finals of the rugby World Cup on both Saturday and Sunday. The All Blacks are playing Argentina.

What are you doing this weekend?

Dear Author – A Note From Your Heroine

This post is inspired by Heather at The Galaxy Express and her post, Attention, please! This is your heroine speaking.

Dear Author,

I salute you. You sit for long hours in front of the computer as you labor over our stories. Without you none of us would be here. Mostly, you do us proud but I’d like you to consider the following:

1. Please, please don’t make me go down to the basement when there is a killer on the loose. Credit me with a little common sense and help me do something intelligent. Heroine
I don’t want readers to snigger at me and call me Too Stupid To Live. I deserve more than that, don’t you think?

2. I know popular opinion says heroines are slender and pretty, but how about making me stand out from the crowd? Make me sexy–sure, I like sexy as much as the next girl, but I can be sexy and an average size. Give me a few curves. Don’t you know I enjoy food? Oh, and if you give me curves, don’t go on and on about my size. I’m happy, really I am.

3. Please don’t take a stereotype and foist it on me. I’m not a hooker with a big heart. I’m not an ice princess. I’m not a geeky librarian. Give me individuality.

4. I like alpha men–really, I do, but at least give me a spine so I can stand up to them. No wimps should apply here.

5. I’m not perfect. I know that, but do you know it too? Give me some flaws and balance them with some of the good stuff. Make me human because readers will like me better that way.

6. Give me a snarky voice. I’m cool with that, but don’t make me snark all the way through the book. Readers won’t like me if I do that. They might call me a bitch, you know, and wonder what the hero sees in me.

7. Likewise, if my hero is going to be a bastard, let him fall off his high horse at some stage. Make him see the error of his ways or at least let me use my knee in his private parts. It might hurt him, but it would make me feel better after all the verbal abuse.

8. And finally, if you’re gonna make me have anal sex, please, please, please give me some lube.

Yours faithfully,
A Heroine.

What would your heroine write in a letter? Readers, what do you think the heroine should write?

What Makes a Good Heroine?

My special guest today is paranormal author, JA Saare. Her post is about heroines and in particular Buffy and Bella. I’m a huge Buffy fan, but also a very new one since I’ve just started watching the series for the first time. I’m hooked. Over to you, Jaime…

Author, JA SaareWhat makes a good heroine? Is it a hard-assed Buffy or a soft-spoken Bella?

I remember it like it was yesterday. The WB network was advertising this brand new show that was a spinoff of the movie sharing the same name. At first it was laughable, and I made the common joke about the “frog” network and their futile attempts to survive in a Seinfeld ruled world.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer – really?

Beastly creatures and high school metaphors aside, how could anyone take such a thing seriously? The market for the paranormal, at that time, was weak. Even with a devout cult following, shows like Kindred: The Embraced were shelved after one short season. Darkness didn’t prevail, people wanted pep, they wanted sass, they wanted Rachel’s latest haircut! Still, I tuned in, reminiscing about the days when Dylan Mckay was the hottest thing since freshly mopped tar on a sweltering summer roof. Chewing my popcorn and drinking my Jolt cola, I watched a young and impressionable Buffy Summers enter into the Hellmouth, err, I mean the doors of Sunnydale High, for the first time.

And whaddya know? It was love at first stake.

Buffy was tough. She was strong. And she could make the high school jocks cry like hard core sissies. But even more importantly, she was a total girl. Her need to belong to the world she was so apart from was so raw, and so very relatable. Each week brought about new challenges with real themes, ranging from first love, to domestic abuse, to losing your virginity and discovering the guy you thought you loved isn’t who you thought he was at all.

Those next seven years were some of the most memorable of my life, and I remember them fondly because they were shared with a young girl that was roughly my age when the show started and ended. Oddly enough, we shared heartache and growth, and when those final credits rolled on the final episode, The Chosen, I wept. When it was all said and done, I knew there would never be another heroine to compare, and I bid a very fond farewell to one of my favorite characters of all time.

Fast forward a couple of years.

I was browsing the books in my local Barnes and Noble, looking for something to pass the time. My favorite authors weren’t due to for a new release, and I wasn’t in the mood for the usual romance. I wanted something different, something with bite.

A cover got my attention. It was simple but elegant, a pair of alabaster hands palming a ripe red apple. Figuring I had nothing better to do, I snagged the book and purchased it along with a double Mocha Latte. I read it in record time. It was a beautiful story, a romance that used sensuality to sell. Sure, Bella was a tad annoying, but what girl isn’t at that age? And that hunk, Edward, hubba-bubba! Not a bad read at all, and guess what? The sequel, New Moon, was coming soon!

It was a good thing I had the foresight to save that first edition hardback, because soon after, the Twilight frenzy was born.

Now, it’s all about New Moon. The motion picture is on the way and the hype has just begun. As I stare at the numerous billboards lining the walkways of Target and Wal-Mart, I have to ask myself…What is the deal?

Attending the release party at that same Barnes and Noble for Breaking Dawn was a mind-blowing experience. For one, I discovered no book, and I do mean no book, is worth the agonizing shrieks of ecstatic tweens as they clamor for their sparkling vampire fix. Fights broke out over quizzes that indicated your “blood type”, and if you were the parent of the disgruntled girl that got the white paper bracelet that signified Jacob’s preference, Lord help you.

Then it hit me.

The frenzy isn’t about Bella at all. It’s all about Edward – the man that completes her. For without him, she is nothing.

Testing my theory, I pulled out Twilight and read it again, then came New Moon and Eclipse. Yep, it was just as I thought. Bella, the ever normal Mary Sue that is plain and shy but shows up at a new school and becomes uber-popular and snags the attention of the notorious unobtainable vamp himself, is only important so long as the topazed-eyed vegetarian sparkler is at her side. What better way to prove self-worth than to gain the attention of the most beautiful creature in existence, and maintain it permanently?

Jaded and angry, I pulled out my DVD collection of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, starting with season one. There were similarities – anxiety, shyness, attempting to fit in.

But then, it happened.

Buffy meets Angel, and in true kick-ass manner, she blows him off. Oh, to be sure, she did so in a sultry fashion. And what do you know? The boy follows her. Thus, one of the most beloved and indelible couples on the small screen was born.

It’s a shame Buffy The Vampire Slayer didn’t get the recognition Twilight has. Though they are notably different (Buffy, though in print and comic format, is inherently a television show), the messages were so much deeper, so much more involved. Sure “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” sounds silly, but that goes to show you that it’s not smart to judge a book by its title, or in this case, the catchy symbolism of a cover.

If Mr. Whedon has some free time, maybe he can schedule an intervention and do the world a favor.

Have Buffy give Bella a call, Joss. The world needs a reality check.

Happy Reading!
Jaime AKA J.A. Saare
http://jasaare.com/

Soft As Moonlight Moon Kissed Lick of Frost A Kiss Before Dying

J. A. will be giving away a $10 Amazon.com gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter from her blog tour so don’t forget to comment here to have a chance to win. For details of JA Saare’s entire blog tour go here.

Which heroine do you prefer? Buffy or Bella? What do you think makes a good heroine?

TSTL and Whiney

I read a review today about a book I’ve read. The reviewer said the heroine was whiney and didn’t act her age. That didn’t come through for me when I read the book. I know reviews are subjective, but it made me start thinking.

What qualities does a good heroine possess?

I know most of you are going to mention the “too stupid to live” heroine. No one likes a heroine who consistently does stupid things such as walking down to the cellar to investigate noises when she’s been told not to go down to the cellar. But is it all right for a heroine to make a silly mistake if she learns from it and deals with the consequences? My answer would be yes. It’s the heroine who consistently makes stupid choices that drives me nuts.

I like an intelligent heroine, one who knows what she wants or failing that, decides what she wants during the course of the book. I want her to make choices, and if they’re bad ones to learn from them. I want her to have the strength of character to deal with the consequences of her choices. I want her to play nice with others, yet stand up for herself if a bully confronts her. I want her to show some passion and not be afraid to love. If she’s been hurt in love before, I want her to grow and become willing to take chances again because this is after all, a romance.

I want her to have pride in her appearance without being vain. I’d like her to be confident with her body and to remember that a person’s attitude makes them sexy. Sure, people judge by appearances, but it’s personality that drives an attraction.

I don’t mind a little whining, but “woman up” and deal with the situation after the whining. Don’t keep stomping on that whining button! I don’t expect my heroine to be perfect. None of us is perfect and our heroines shouldn’t be either. Integrity is good and above all, a heroine should be consistent so she doesn’t come across as a flake.

And lastly, I want her to be kind to animals. I have a soft spot for animals and like heroines who have the same interest.

Two of my favorite heroines include Eve Dallas created by JD Robb and Mercy Thompson created by Patricia Briggs. Both are strong women, both have integrity. It’s interesting to note both are in series. Possibly that’s why they’ve made such an impact on me.

What qualities do you think a heroine should have? Which flaws can you forgive? Who are some of your favorite heroines?