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Creating Heroines

Heroines are always a complicated subject to tackle. They are similar to villains in that you have to know their back story before you begin. The advantage with most heroines though, is that the whole book is about them. The reader will learn the back story as the book moves along. The same tips and tricks for villains can be used for heroines and even heroes so be sure to read that post first.

I think most writers have trouble writing heroines. The tendency is to make them hard and unforgiving. They are written like a man with a few female traits thrown in to remind the reader they are female. A lot of writers forget that they are women first. The heroine may have been raised under the harshest of conditions, but they are still women. They think differently than men. They may be able to shut off emotions, but they are still present and can still cause problems.

A good heroine is a woman first and a hero second. It sounds odd I know, because you never think of Wonder Woman crying, but if you read enough comics you’ll see she has her share of love affairs. Even in the latest movie she is portrayed as a warm caring woman that falls for her leading man. Although, no one would ever mistake her as weak because of it.
Credit AllThingsClipArt.com

The other thing to remember when writing heroines or heroes is to reveal the back story slowly. Telling the whole story all at once is called an information dump. It is boring for readers and they tend to put the book down. There are times when a review or small history lesson is needed to bring the readers up to speed. In those cases try to find creative ways to do so and keep it short. You can use monologues, flashbacks, or internal thoughts to name a few. Use several short information dumps over a period of time to keep readers interested.

Again be careful how much information you share with the reader up front. Your heroine’s or hero’s backstory is key to your book. It helps liven up the tale. Anyone can have an adventure, but why are they doing it? Readers want to know that too. Revealing the information slowly keeps the readers interest.

Don't miss the first 2 posts in this series Creating an Urban Fantasy World and Creating a Villain They'll Love to Hate

If you would like to read an Interview with Anya Drake, you can find it here.

If you would like to read a free example of a detailed backstory Unlike the Rest is Nisha Patel’s story from For Their Sins


For Their Sins is a first person narrative following the life of a very unconventional 300 year old vampire. Alexandria Diego was Born in 1707 as a Venandi, a descendant of angels. Her people were charged by God to send the worst sinners to judgement. That included the soulless Mordere that are turned into vampires by more traditional means. Although Alexandria chose the path of the hunter she always longed for a quiet life. Destiny had other plans. One simple choice irrevocably changed Alexandria’s life and soon all of her people knew her name. When a war broke out between her people and the Mordere Alexandria suddenly became her people’s last hope of survival. Alexandria is lost and confused under the sudden weight. After agonizing over the problem she faces it head on. But when her true love is captured by the enemy nothing will stand in her way of getting him back. The only question is: is it too late?

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Good luck writing and check out my next post on March 27.

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