BTT: Heroine


Okay, folks. Quick grammar lesson here: When there’s an E at the end of the word, we ain’t talking street drugs. Okay?

I had a few students back in my college instructor days who struggled with that. Sort of like breath/breathe.

Now, to the question at hand, compliments of Booking Through Thursday:

Who is your favorite female lead character? And why? (And yes, of course, you can name more than one . . . I always have trouble narrowing down these things to one name, why should I force you to?)

The first one who came to mind was, of course, my own Kerri Voss. Follow the link in her name back to her character sketch page. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see links to outtakes in which she’s appeared. Check her out. Kerri’s cool.

Maybe, if you ask nicely, I’ll write more outtakes featuring her.

As for what’s already in fiction, my immediate answer was Lessa. Yes, that’s right. From the Dragonriders of Pern series. She’s got many of the same qualities that Kerri’s got and is darn cool. I was always sorry we didn’t see more of her. She seemed to always be overshadowed by the men in those books.

Other great women… wow, there are a lot of them, and we can generally thank the mystery writers for them. Alex Cooper. Sharon McCone. I think mystery and Science Fiction/Fantasy brought us great heroines before general fiction did.

Althea. Oh, yeah. I really dug her and was sorry that trilogy ended. Not to mention I was very sorry when the scene shifted and she wasn’t in it.

And, of course, no list would be complete without Scarlett O’Hara. Gotta love Scarlett.

Notice anything about all these women? Yup, they all face problems, some on a daily basis and some not. But they all find ways to be strong, to overcome, and to win in the end.

I know. You’re shocked I don’t do the victim thing.



  1. Breeni Books

    February 28, 2008 7:27 pm

    I’ve noticed that pretty much everyone’s BTT featured strong, resilient women today. BR/BR/I think we all aspire to be as much!BR/BR/Happy BTT!

  2. Morgan Leigh

    February 28, 2008 7:33 pm

    I love Scarlett, she was vindictive, a little off, naive but oh so strong. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. pussreboots

    February 28, 2008 7:55 pm

    I didn’t think to include my own heroine. LOL. Good list. Happy BTT.

  4. bunnygirl

    February 28, 2008 8:22 pm

    It’s been a very long time since I read the Dragonriders of Pern books, but I do remember liking Lessa!BR/BR/And I love Scarlett O’Hara as she’s represented in the book. I thought the movie made her look too much like a silly flirt and didn’t make her strength and complexity as obvious. BR/BR/It’s remarkable that even now one is hard pressed to find a fictional heroine who is a business and math whiz but non-nurturing, non-intuitive, and unrepentant.

  5. Susan Helene Gottfried

    February 28, 2008 8:25 pm

    Aww, crap. Throw down that gauntlet, why don’t you????

  6. Thomma Lyn

    February 28, 2008 9:17 pm

    Bunnygirl’s gauntlet — heh! I’ve got a heroine like that, a theoretical physicist in training, brilliant, tough, resilient, and though she’s nice, she’s nobody’s pushover.BR/BR/Trouble is, agents don’t like her. Beta readers love her, but agents find her “too opinionated.”BR/BR/Feh.BR/BR/Anyhows! :)BR/BR/I agree, gotta love Scarlett! She’s a fabulous character, flaws and all… a backbone like a saw log!

  7. bunnygirl

    February 29, 2008 12:29 am

    But see, Thomma, that’s the problem. Here we are 75 years after Scarlett O’Hara’s literary debut, and agents take issue with a character like her. If your tough, strong-minded woman doesn’t turn into a puddle of sentimental goo (preferably over a baby) by the end of the story, she’s “not believable.” No sale.BR/BR/The struggle continues. ๐Ÿ™

  8. Winter

    February 29, 2008 12:49 am

    Scarlett irked me but I admired her balls. My fave character of my own creation is a toss up between Carlisle Ross the vampire rock queen and her manager/best friend, Alexandria (Lex) Valentine Kohl. Carlisle is a duchess so she can be arrogant sometimes. She’s also pretty amusing, with a wicked sense of humor. Lex, when she’s being the megabitch, is acerbic and amusing ina sardonic way. Now, that she’s mated and happy, her sense of humor is more comical, especially in posts with her mate Alaric.BR/BR/Come on by my blog for Leap Year, Susan! I have hot Brazilians for leap year! Nothing like a little eye candy to start the weekend. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Bring all your gal pals. There’s enough men here for all of us! Happy leap year!

  9. Jennifer McKenzie

    February 29, 2008 12:54 am

    I LOVED Lessa from the Pern series. BR/I’d have to say Harriet Vane from the Dorothy L. Sayers books (Especially “Gaudy Night”).BR/AND I loved Minerva from “Bet Me” by Crusie (one of the only Chick Lit books I’ve enjoyed)

  10. Toni

    February 29, 2008 8:33 am

    Hello, just wanted to say thanks for stopping by my blog. I like your blog and will be back. I enjoy reading although I have fallen into the mystery genre the last several years and although I do love it I need to expand. BR/BR/I am not good at ever choosing one favorite of anything, I am bad to pick the latest so I am going to think about my favorite heroine…BR/BR/Thanks again.BR/Toni

  11. FRIGGA

    February 29, 2008 1:05 pm

    Sorry I haven’t been around in a while – I promise to get back to my regularly scheduled blogs soon. But if you have time today come over and play Rockin’ With Frigga!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Bob-kat

    February 29, 2008 2:31 pm

    Yeah, I always liked Lessa and also Polgara from the David Eddings books. Kerri is cool too and she has to be to handle those Shapeshifter lads that well! ๐Ÿ™‚ I also remember watching ‘A woman of Substance’ many years ago which was a screen adaptation of the Barabara Taylor Bradford novel. Now, Emma Harte (the heroine) did both!BR/BR/I’ve always liked strong women characters too – and it doesn’t necessarily mean they stride around kicking ass, sometimes, they simply endure, where others would crumble if you know what I mean.

  13. Bob-kat

    February 29, 2008 2:34 pm

    Thomma Lyn – I bet they wouldn’t say that if your character was male! BR/BR/I guess us women (I hate being called a girl) aren’t supposed to have opinions unless it’s on knitting, kittens and babies and suchlike!

  14. Maree

    February 29, 2008 4:06 pm

    Thanks for visiting! I’ve only read the first Pern novel, and while I did admire Lessa, especially in the first few chapters, I found myself distracted by the many descriptions of her hair. Hope you enjoy Wideacre!

  15. Thomma Lyn

    February 29, 2008 5:52 pm

    Bunnygirl: “The struggle continues…” Oh, yes. Another character, in another of my novels, doesn’t want children. Pretty much a death-knell, in the eyes of many, for a novel intended as women’s fiction. BR/BR/Bob-kat: “…agents wouldn’t be saying that if your character were male” — I’d say you’re right. In fact, I’m sure that II/I wouldn’t be a “believable character” if I were in a novel, at least not to many people’s points of view. BR/BR/Maybe that’s why I don’t see my reflection in a mirror! ;-D

  16. Susan Helene Gottfried

    February 29, 2008 5:54 pm

    Sounds to me like we three need to team up and figure out how to beat this problem and make it go away.

  17. Angela Young

    February 29, 2008 8:35 pm

    And I should read some of yours, too.

  18. Bob-kat

    March 1, 2008 11:49 am

    Thomma Lyn and Susan – count me in! :)BR/BR/Oh, and it’s best not to get me started on the whole ‘women without children’ thing. I have been known to disappear into long rants on that one! I could tell you about many a personal attack (mostly from men) I have had because I have always said I do not want children of my own. BR/BR/I WANT to read about strong women characters who I can associate with. I am so bored of reading about women characters that seem strong but really they are just waiting to get married and be ‘saved’ by a man. Grrrrr! It’s the same with films. Publishers and film makers need to stop simply churning out the stereotypes. I have so much more to say but I can sense a rant coming on and this is Susan’s blog, so I will behave ๐Ÿ™‚ Sorry Susan!

  19. Susan Helene Gottfried

    March 1, 2008 4:04 pm

    Rant away, girlfriend. I’m learning things, and that will make my own fiction better.

  20. Winter

    March 1, 2008 4:08 pm

    Heh Heh. Tag. You’re IT! I tagged you to do a meme. You’ll find the info on my blog! Good luck!

  21. Thomma Lyn

    March 1, 2008 11:03 pm

    Susan, on us teaming up to beat this problem — I’m on board! ๐Ÿ™‚ BR/BR/And Bob-kat, I hear ya– recently, my mom and a family friend grew concerned over how fond I am of my cats and decided that “the best parts of TL” would come out if those cats were changed to children. Hello, clue bat? These are people who have known me all my life, yet they can’t see past societal norms and expectations to Itruly/I know me at all.BR/BR/No disrespect intended to moms who love being moms and are doing a great job, but if my four cats were changed to four children, the best parts of me would Inot/I come out. Instead, I’d be one miserable person. BR/BR/Why can’t more people realize that one size Idoesn’t/I fit all?BR/BR/Thanks, Susan, for letting us rant here! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Susan Helene Gottfried

    March 2, 2008 9:40 am

    I am often an unhappy mom, so I’m on your side, TL. And I WANTED kids!!!

  23. Florinda

    March 2, 2008 10:37 am

    Thanks for your comment on my blog – and for sending me over here! BR/BR/IGreat/I discussion on this week’s BTT topic. I strikes me that our favorite women heroines seem to have traits that we admire – in others or ourselves – or aspire to have. And no wimpy whiners need apply!

  24. BooksPlease

    March 2, 2008 1:01 pm

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. I think strong characters are fascinating, whether or not they have children etc. BR/BR/I don’t know the characters you’ve mentioned – so more books to check out. Of course I know Scarlett from the movie and agree that her character came over in that as rather silly and frivolous, but she did survive after all. I must read the book to get the “real” character!

  25. Maree

    March 2, 2008 5:50 pm

    I agree with Bob-kat about the stereotypes. I think it’s one reason I’m moving on mentally from “chick-lit” as escapist reading. I have no sympathy for fictional women who have great friends, a great job, no debt, but can’t see it because they don’t have a man. Ugh. I don’t read “mum-lit” for a similar reason; I am a Mum, and I don’t find those books relaxing at all. I’d be delighted to read a book with a strong, central female character, who was a maths/science whiz and didn’t want children. As long as it’s a great story, everything else is just … gravy. ๐Ÿ™‚ Great discussion!

  26. trish

    March 3, 2008 5:22 pm

    I agree with Maree.BR/BR/I’ve been typing and retyping a response, but nothing sounds right so I’ll just let Maree have the last word. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Julia

    March 3, 2008 10:00 pm

    I’m not familiar with any of the heroines you listed except for Scarlett O’Hara. I love the movies too!BR/BR/Sorry for posting this so late, but thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you stop by again soon! Have a good day, Susuan!

  28. West Of Mars — The Meet and Greet » Blog Archive » Fiction Outtake: Leaving (Pre-Trevor’s Song Era)

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