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Strong vs Weak Female Characters – Mostly Books Workshop – October 15 –

Here’s a taste of what we’ll be discussing at the workshop!   Hope to see you there!

Mostly Books, Tucson
Signing and Writer’s Workshop presentation alongside Tara Majuta
October 15th 2pm-4pm


  • Kate Daniels (Ilona Andrews Magic Series)
    • Independent Mercenary hired to assist magical cases
    • Not seeking a relationship
    • Ability and role as a fighter and investigator respected by male counterparts (to a point)
    • Let’s actions speak for themselves, nothing to prove
    • Still has feminine emotions, not a robot
    • Flaw: Rashness when responding to situations. More reactive than proactive
    • Note: she changes midway through series when finds a “mate”


  • Karrin Murphey (Jim Butcher Dresden Files Series)
    • Director of Special Investigations at the Chicago PD
    • On a mission to defend the city at any cost to her own detriment, but is smart
    • Her unit is mocked by others, but she is competent in her job
    • Goes up against monsters with her human abilities and is successful
    • Doesn’t lust after any man, although has love interests as well as attraction to main character
    • Has feminine emotions of vulnerability, but hides it behind rough exteriors
    • She’s competent, a great shot, always accepts responsibility
    • Takes on a supernatural “guardian”-type responsibility even though doesn’t want to
    • Flaws: Sometimes rash in her “human” logic and longs for companionship of some kind, is described as attractive
    • Note: she also changes midway through series when she loses her self-confidence
  • Other Examples (recommended, but not necessarily read)
    • October Daye from self-titled series by Seanan McGuire
    • Harlin Quinn from Suicide Squad comic only
    • Jane Yellowrock from self-titled series by Faith Hunter
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer


  • Common Character Traits
    • Lust after male characters, or not complete without them
    • Need to be saved somehow (from incompetence)
    • Respond to what happens, never attempt to take control
    • Sexualized in skimpy/suggestive clothing
    • Are “fighters,” but not much to their characters…they’re flat
  • Lena Duchannes (from Kami Garcia’s Beautiful Creatures)
    • 15 year old new student in Gatlin, South Carolina who chooses to isolate herself from society with uncle
    • Shares dreams with main character Ethan Wate before she arrives.
    • On her 16th birthday, she will be “chosen” as a light or dark witch, has no control over which.
    • Responds to situations
    • Never bucks-the-system like expected from teen-drama
    • Undertone that somehow Ethan Wate (weak on his own) can save her
    • Ethan has more complexities: popularity through sports but likes the outsider, has goals and ambitions outside of school
    • She can’t plan anything past being “chosen” because she doesn’t know who she’ll become
    • Note: she is not sexualized since it’s YA, but follows Gothic dressed outsider
  • Other Examples (recommended, but not necessarily read)
    • Any early Disney Princess
    • Lucinda from Lauren Kate’s Fallen series
    • Rene Russo from The Thomas Crowne affair
    • Harlin Quinn from Suicide Squad movie