Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Writerly Wednesday

The Knight in Shining Armor Syndrome

(Yes I know this is MJ, but he showed up when I googled knight in shining armor)

Recentlly I have noticed that when I write anything I tend to like to have this bad boy character that ultimatley saves the heroine from whatever she's going to.  It's not just me that does it, I've also noticed it in SO much literature (ahem, Twilight anyone?) But it's not just books like Twilight that do it, it seems like all of us are looking for that knight in shining armor to save us from whatever perils we may be in.

Oh sure there are those girls that in the end sort of save the day (i.e. whatever the heck that fight scene was in breaking dawn), but there still really aren't that many females (especially in YA) that break that damsel in distress mode all together and kick some butt!

Yeah, it's getting better.  I've seen some great heroines (Evie from PARANORMALCY and Katniss from HUNGER GAMES), but I want more.  If I have a daughter I don't want to her to read all these books and just think that some guy with bad hair who sparkles is just going to save her from all lifes little dangers.

I also admit that I'm guilty of this, I tried to write this whole coming of age women's fiction were a girl overcomes her own personal self-esteem issues after falling in love (since it's still on submission and may be shelved we see how well that's going...)  When I went back and read it though I realized how much I wanted a girl that just took charge, went out there and said, "I'm with you because I want to be with you, not because I need you."

And thus my kick butt girl for my alien novel was born, whom I just wrote busted down a door to a top secret meeting and took out a sleu of alien soldiers...yeah she pretty much kicks butt and I love her.

I could probably go on and on with this post for forever, but I really wanted  YOU to comment.  Do you suffer from the knight in shining armor syndrome in your writing?  How do you cope?


  1. I love female characters that "kick butt" (hee hee). Which was why I wrote DEATH'S ISLAND. I also kept thinking if I had a daughter who would I want her to be? My main character does have help, but she is pretty independent :).

  2. I definitely went into my WIP wanting to write a kick-butt heroine. My FMC starts out weaker than her peers and at a major disadvantage, and her journey through the story has her learning to overcome her weaknesses and insecurities, find her strengths and evolve into a super a**-kicker (ok, sounds kinda cheesy when I talk about it in vague terms, but you get the idea). We definitely need more strong females in YA, but I think we're getting them more and more these days.

  3. I'm a fan of reluctant tough girls. I find them more real--the type of girl who is afraid and doesn't feel very brave but during certain circumstances will have to overcome her fear and kick some butt. I'm currently working on a novel where my heroine kills zombies, but she is terrified of them and doesn't want to do it and but does it to save someone she cares about. I love stories like that because it shows love is stronger than fear.

  4. Yeah! I like seeing that so many people are writing bad*ss girl characters in YA! It makes me want to read all of your manuscripts! (Well and Kelsey Ketch already knows that I put my claim down on a signed ARC).


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