Female Protagonists

I am currently on the hunt for books [specifically fantasy and science fiction, of any sub-genre] with strong female protagonists. Largely because my current in progress novels [two Epic Fantasy setting and one Historical Fantasy setting] all contain female protagonists.

What does that mean to me?

That the main character, or one of the main characters, is a woman who:

  • Does not constantly need saving. [If she is saved by a male character, it is ‘forgiven’ if she later saves a male character, especially the male protagonist.]
  • Does not display victim behaviour. Even if bad things happen, she is not waiting around for other people to fix things for her. [She’s allowed to ask for help, but she is doing so out of her own initiative and remains the driving force and main participant behind her ‘quest’.]
  • Is not obsessed with finding a “knight in shining armor” or some other man to come and save her. [She is allowed romance, but they must be displayed as either equals or close to it. She is not subservient to her lover. Bonus points for any sort of LGBT romances here.]
  • She does not fall perfectly into the typical virgin/princess archetypes. [She can be either, but she is portrayed as a balanced person rather than an extreme of either. Bonus for a strong female who falls into the ‘Whore’ archetype but isn’t portrayed as evil.]

I may add more as I think of them, and I will definitely start to make a list of the novels that I believe have strong female protagonists. Right now I am reading Beguilement (The Sharing Knife, Book 1) as recommended to me by a friend.

I’ll let everyone know how it is once I finish it!



2 thoughts on “Female Protagonists

  1. I’ve gotten fed up with that kind of female archetype too. It’s too bad that people misunderstand and instead they do the exact opposite, producing bitchy, sassy, “independent” (as in stupidly stubborn) characters.

    Like everything, it’s about reaching middle ground.

    • That is true. The biggest issue with protagonists [more often females], is that they fall into the archetype trap.
      While that’s a fine place to start, it’s not all you base your character on. With reaching the middle ground, it’s important to create a character that seems more like a person than a archetype.
      A lot of fantasy writers fall into the trap of either sticking to archetypes or focusing on too much character development.

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