I love a kick ass heroine. Always have, always will. But if your hero and heroine are interchangeable, except for body parts, I get turned off.

Example #1: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Totally rocks. She kicks some vampire ass, catches the bad guys, but still has time to act like a woman with steamy love interest, Angel. If memory serves, she even had a thing for Spike for a little stint.

Example #2: Sarah Connor: After the first Terminator movie, she turned into a man with boobs.

First scene: In her cell doing pull ups. Ripped arms. After her son risks his life to save her, she does nothing but feel him up to see if he's injured and tells him it was dumb for him to risk his life because he is too important to the future. If she had been more concerned about him as a mother, she would have come off as likeable. But his well being was treated as an after thought. No motherly love, no...nothing. She spent the rest of the movie as a hard ass sucking on cigarettes. A man could have played that part and I don't think I would have known the difference.

I've had the same experience with some books I've read, and they were supposed to be romance novels. They shall remain nameless. The heroine was trying so hard to prove she was just as good as a man, I couldn't tell the difference between her and the hero. Until it came down to sex. Of course she was soft as silk and he was hard as granite.

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but besides having a vagina, I'd like for there to be something feminine about the heroine.

Blog question: Where do you draw the line? Have you ever found yourself at a point where your heroine lost her femininity because she was supposed to be kick ass? Where does that leave your hero?

This is something that has weighed heavily on me for a long time and I would love to hear your responses. Have you ever been disappointed by a kick ass heroine because she was the female version of Arnold Schwarzenegger?

How do you keep that out of your writing?


I'm with you, Shawn...I'm much more a fan of Jamie Lee Curtis in "True Lies" (she had some serious kick-butt moments, mostly in interrogation) than Sarah Conner in Terminator 2. And Lara Croft? Yeah, the movies are kinda fun, but other than Angelina's lips and boobs, Lara could be Larry. Bleh!

This is probably why I no longer attempt serious, dark, gritty suspense writing...I could never walk the line!

I couldn't agree with you more!

Hi, Shawn!
Can't think of an exact example right now. I do like heroines with the ability to kick butts and take names. But I also want them to be able to give to a man. Unlike Kristi, I love dark, gritty suspense and it's my fave thing to write!

I understand what you're saying. I love a heroine like the one you described. She can kick -butt, but when it's time to act like a woman with a man, she can do that too.

One of the reasons I never liked the movie or comic book character "Red Sonja" was because she said and I quote, "The only man that can have me is one that can beat me in a fair fight."

Really? I'll have sex with you if you can kick my ass? That's supposed to turn me on?
I'm wondering if a man wrote that.

I never thought about this a lot, because no one really kicks butt in my stories or, for the most part, in what I read, but I agree with you. I don't want them to sound alike or think alike.

Good post!

Anonymous said... 30/6/10 03:57  

Hey Shawn- love the title. It caught my attention instantly. I completely agree with you. In my opinion, the heroine needs to be sharp, independent, and capable. But she needs to be feminine- above all else. And honestly, any good heroine or hero needs to have weaknesses- stereotypical flaws (to me). Girls do, at times, make decisions based on emotion and men do, at times, rush to make decisions based on a surge of adrenal. Those are fun traits that can be exploited to accentuate the difference between the two. It's hard to get into a heroine who's so tough she scares you! Jordan

Liz, thanks for stopping by. I always enjoy seeing you here.

Jordan, I'm with you. They have to have a flaw. And you're right, men and women handle situations differently. But that's the way it's supposed to be.

My heroine has a booty with hips to match with a contrasting smaller chest. I like that about her. So does the hero. He's a butt man. LOL.

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A dreamer. That's how I would describe myself. Come to think of it, that's how most people would describe me. It's one of the reasons I fell in love with paranormal romances. I live in Atlanta, Ga, with the man of my dreams. We met in Korea while serving in the armed forces and after a two month courtship, got married. We've been together 21 years.

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