Ten Habits of a Strong Heroine

Ten Habits of a Strong Heroine
By DiAnn Mills

Whether my source of entertainment is a novel, a movie, or a vibrant play, I want to experience a strong heroine. She’s fixed in my mind long after her role is finished. This enigma challenges me to understand her, and when I think I have a handle on her personality, the real work comes in.

We writers long to develop a complex heroine who has the same gumption while being totally feminine. A tough project!

But not impossible if we’re willing to do the work.

The following are ten ways to expand a female character into a heroine who leaves a dynamic legacy.

  1. Build a heroine who has a credible backstory that motivates her into action. Show how her past experiences grew her mentally and spiritually, propelling her into a remarkable main gal. 
  2. Establish a feminine heroine and assign her a meaningful name that fits a startling story world. She’s not a woman in a man’s clothes.
  3. Incorporate a heroine’s physical attributes into her character. Include how the physical world affects her behavior, goals, strengths, weaknesses, and flaws in her character.
  4. Discover her physical problem or goal, and why it matters to her and the world around her.
  5. Create a well-rounded character psychologically. This means enhancing a distinct personality and ascribing great communication skills. She’s a character who experiences realistic emotion and uses the lessons of the past to form who she is today.
  6. Unearth her internal struggle(s) and how she will triumph over the issue(s).
  7. Provide reasons why your reader will care about the heroine and why she is the only character who can play the starring role in the story.
  8. Ensure she is never a victim. She may have been victimized in the past, but she survived and now she’s on guard with anyone who exhibits harmful traits. The heroine is focused on the world around her.
  9. Show how the heroine uses her skills and acquires new ones to journey through her story and be successful.

  10. Drop her into a story in which her goals and how she reaches them captivate a reader.

The heroines in today’s novels, no matter the genre, must have the ability to take care of herself while entertaining us with a powerful story. What traits do you think are essential for a strong heroine?

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

She has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.