I’m making cake. Birthday cake. For a five year old girl no less. It therefore has to be in the form of Ariel the Mermaid…stay with me here, this is still a post about romance writing. It got me thinking of Disney Princess types. The virgin heroine, the quivering at the sight of a super-alpha pageant-beauty. There are a lot of them about, and in the hands of a skilled writer, the virgin heroine is a thing of beauty: able to bring men to their knees with a glance, and hold out for what she wants till she’s 100% she’s going to get it.
But thinking this through reaffirmed my belief that I like sassy heroines who have seen a bit more of life – girls with gumption, chicks with chat. I especially like it when they have a quality vocabulary that has more than a few expletives in it and a smattering of good barbs. The WIP I’ve been working on at the moment though has a heroine who is much softer. Even a little, *gasp*, sweet.
For a while I struggled, trying to get her to talk the way I thought she would, but it all just sounded wrong. She’s a far cry from Disney Princess, but she isn’t the “girls can and should do anything” type I thought I would always write. In frustration I sent her to my CP and asked if she thought she needed a slap. My CP laughed at me and quietly and calmly reminded me that characters are who they are. She even liked her.
So I’ve had to re-evaluate my parameters. I’ve upped her vocabulary, downed her simpering and come to a happy place where she’s still on a mission, and is back in the girls can do anything camp, but she doesn’t need to fight quite so hard to prove it all the time.
With my Ariel Mermaid cake, I think I’ll take the same approach. There will be a doll in the middle, but she’s bound to have a sparkle in her eye, and a damn good retort to anyone who dares question the styling of her icing bikini (okay, maybe that last bit will be me). Some sass with her smile and maybe just a little extra flick to her tail.
So what about you? Do you like your heroines sweet, sassy or somewhere in between. And can you made to like someone you never though you would, just because she’s got a sparkly green tail and a sparkle in her eye?
Thanks for stopping by!
Michele de Winton
Being a writer was not was I was supposed to be when I ‘grew up' but then neither was being a dancer. My poor parents. They thought that when I toddled off to law school they'd bred a responsible, useful adult and instead they got a performer and word junkie. But words really are my drug. Oh and yoga, food, sunshine, hot love scenes, my boys, chocolate and happy endings.