With the heroine being the pivotal character around which a F/M romance story usually revolves I considered carefully what type of women I wanted to portray with my heroines.
It was important to me that readers could relate to each heroine I created and her journey through the story. But there are many of you out there leading a myriad of different lives with unique values, beliefs and understanding of the world. Every one of you will be at a distinct place in your lives and at varying distances on your journey that has been shaped by individual experiences.
How was I to create heroines with appeal for all women?
I decided my heroines would need to be strong, feisty, and determined, but at the same time, soft, compassionate and just a tiny bit vulnerable. She needed to know what true love is, be ready for commitment and comfortable with her sexuality. To have the qualities we are wish we had or have striven to develop.
Not many of us are born ‘strong’ with lashings of confidence, self esteem, street smarts and with naturally high emotional and intelligence IQ’s. Very few of us are naturally athletic or blessed with stunning sexy good looks. Or all combined. And this is okay.
Most women have to develop their personal and physical attributes and have been made strong through life experiences and mistakes they have made along the way. Some of us still have a way to go to be the woman we want to be. We are working on it, at our own pace, and this is ok too.
To reflect the journey we travel to become who we want to be, it was important for my heroine to grow as part of my story – I wanted the reader to be able to sympathize and empathize with her and be caught up in her journey to reach her potential and her joy at finding true love along the way.
My heroines are strong women – not warriors swinging swords or firing guns – but women with strength to make their own world, to strive for goals and to get up when they fall down or are knocked down by life. They don’t need a hero, but when they find him they recognize him for the man he is as he recognizes her for who she is and they love each other regardless of the imperfections.
A strong woman builds her own world. She is the one who is wise enough to know that it will attract the man she will gladly share it with.
Ellen J. Barrier, How to Trust God When All Other Resources Have Failed