Let’s Be BFFs

Last month, with our topic being heroes, I was beating the ideas away with a stick. This month? Not a single one.

Why, you ask?

Well…I have a confession. *leans in close and whispers* I am hard on heroines. In fact, I’m hard-pressed to find a heroine I think is more than just okay.

I don’t know why that is, why I find some flaws excusable in a hero, but condemn a heroine for the same ones. It’s not something I’m proud of, and definitely not something I make a conscious effort to do, but it’s something that just is all the same.

In my books, I want to create heroines everyone’s going to like. But I also know that’s CARINA_1213_9781426897597_SeasonofSecondChancesabsolutely not possible. There is no getting around it—you’re just not going to please everyone. For instance, in my new release, the holiday novella Season of Second Chances, I had people tell me Claire was too easy on Logan in the resolution of the story. At the same time, I had people say she overreacted and she needed to cut him some slack. Same situation, read through different eyes, and both walked away with a different perception of the character.

That’s why, when I sit down and write a heroine, rather than thinking about who I could write that would please everyone else, I think about what kind of heroine I’d want to read about. I want someone who’s engaging. Smart and probably a little sassy. Someone with a great sense of humor. Someone who’s kind and fun-loving. A girl who’ll show up at the doorstep of her best friend’s house at 3 a.m. with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and a hundred stories about why men suck. Someone who’s not afraid to call you on your shit.

She might be the party girl or the homebody or the career woman. She might be a bombshell or a plain Jane. But when it comes down to it, the kind of heroines I most like to read about (and write about!) are the ones I’d want as my BFF.

So tell me…what’s the number one quality you like to read about in a heroine? Or maybe I should ask what quality of your BFF is your favorite?



Let’s Be BFFs — 7 Comments

  1. I think being “harder on the heroine” is kind just the way it is, unfortunately. I don’t know anyone who isn’t. You always see in reviews all these complaints about the heroine, yet you rarely see the same amount of bashes on the hero. Why is this? I haven’t a clue. Maybe, like Samantha said, it’s because we tend to put ourselves in the shoes of the heroine and we, as women, are never harder on anyone than we are ourselves. Plus, sometimes heroines are people we wouldn’t really like in real life.

    But on the flip side, when we read–especially romance novels–we want to swoon, so we find every reason to! I think that’s partially why the heroes get a pass on so much of the criticism. He’s there for our swoons, and he takes them. 😉

    • Yep, I see it all over the place in reviews, or even just chatting books with friends. And I think you’re right–we’re there to swoon with the guys, and we *want* to swoon, so I think we forgive a LOT in their cases.

  2. I’m guilty of being hard on the heroine sometimes, but I think I’m a bit less forgiving of heroes, too. The discrepancy in how we regard heroes and heroines is a pet peeve of mine b/c I think it does connect to what Samantha said above. As women, we tend to be harder on ourselves and other women than we are on men.

    Great post, Brighton. It is important to create a likable heroine, or at least one with whom readers can empathize. But your example above proves that trying to make the heroine all things to all people is just not gonna happen.

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