You may or may not know how much I adore Temple West. She wrote Velvet and Cashmere, has an awesome style, and is so adorably quirky, how could I not love her? Today, I am sharing a guest post written by her about the recent (tired) trend of the “strong female character.”
This is a question I’ve struggled with long before I knew or understood the word “feminism.” When I was a kid, the overused trope was the damsel in distress. Now it seems like the overused trope is the “strong female character.” But what, exactly, does strong mean?
Most of the time, it seems that it means she literally kicks ass. She does hand-to-hand combat or has crazy powerful magic or both.
And I’m all for that. Give me a spell-casting, physically skilled lady leader any day
But…what about the women who…y’know,
At the end of the day, it’s about creating dynamic, fully-fleshed, complicated women characters. They can be knights or single moms, or both (or neither).
So does your heroine have to be a badass to be a “strong female character?” Yes. But you determine what kind of badass she gets to be.
Thanks, Temple! I happen to agree, even though I do sometimes use the trope in my own stories. I also used “The Chosen One” trope in The Belgrave Legacy, so trope doesn’t automatically mean bad. I think the important part is understanding it’s a trope, trying to make it interesting, or better yet, finding a way to write without using it.
What do you think? Sound off below!