Writing Strong Female Characters

So what does the term Strong Female Character mean to you?

It seems it has become something of a marketing tool, something to be used when a writer or producer wants to make sure that women are adequately represented in film or fiction. According to this article, a lot of female characters are cast with just that in mind rather than any actual purpose to further the story. A female character is portrayed as feisty, strong-willed and full of beans, only to be cast aside without a second thought when the real hero of the story comes along to save the world.

There is always an element of surprise when a female character does something that would be a matter of course for a male character. Why is it so unusual for a girl to choose her quest over her love interest? Why is it when she is the one with the powers, he has to show her how to use them correctly? Why is she so caught up in the intensity of her feelings for him that she gets sidetracked from her mission?

Is that how we see women in real life? As seemingly strong, but always ready to throw their own ambitions aside when the right man comes along? I hope not.

Because I see strong women, young and old, all around me. So it shouldn’t be so difficult to write characters who are real women, with real fears and weaknesses, but also with the strength to overcome them. And maybe the young girls who are reading about these characters will see their own reflection in them.

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