Belle is a tricky character. You think she's all, "ra-ra-Feminism, yay!" She is independent! She walks to town by herself! She sings in a meadow and doesn't care who hears!
For crying out loud, she loves books! BOOKS!
And she refuses this guy, so we all think she's doing pretty well for herself.
But we all know the story. She lands at the Beast's castle, hates it, decides to ditch. In the middle of the winter. In the middle of the night. With no map.
(What? I never imagined there would be starving, vicious wolves in these dark winter woods! I'm scared, a need a big strong man to save me!)
Sadly, Belle is my go-to example of a girl who looked like a promisingly strong, smart female character, and then just....wasn't. She reads books, sure, but does she learn anything from them? Sadly the answer seems to be "no." It always frustrated me so much. (Luckily, my baby girl will have Princesses Mulan and Tiana to learn from....)
So, when I set out to write a strong female main character, what did I do?
Yeah, you guessed it. I wrote about a girl who cries a lot, is pretty dense, whines even more, and has a little bit of trouble making strong decisions without the help of her man. Did I mention she's dense?
Katniss would not be happy.
Today's task: Go through the MS and delete all references to my MC being a total dolt. And then add some opportunities for her to show up her boyfriend(s) and her enemies, and to kick some ass.
Anyone else have thoughts on what makes a strong girl character, and how to write one? It's not as easy as you might think, I'm learning....