So, what does make a woman strong? Vitamins you say? Or good nutrition. Exercising the mind and body daily. Meditating. Belief in something greater than self. Hmmm?
I got to thinking about heroines the other day. Most of the heroines in my books are ordinary women, on the quiet side, with ordinary jobs, and yet I expected them to star in my stories. I hope that I gave them enough qualities to sustain and complete their journey of discovery. Enough strength. Heck, some of them even had to help catch a bad guy. Did I give them the skills required? Skills so deepseated they probably came from childhood.
It seemed easier, somehow, when writing romantic suspense. I could give a heroine physical skills, like running marathons, learning martial arts, being a long distance swimmer, firing a gun, or taking boxing lessons to back up her ability to fight off the antagonist. Those are all physical outer strengths. But where does the woman’s strength come from in contemporary romance?
Strength in women does not always come from the physical. I like to think of my heroines as having some innate skill, a perception, an inner sense of warning when things are about to go sour. Sometimes I’ll make the heroine a psychic, healer, teacher, nurse, or a psychologist so she better understands the workings of the human mind. Sometimes she’s just super-sensitive. But what about inner strengths like loyalty, honesty, independence?
These questions lead me to ask, what do you think makes for a strong woman? Give me examples. This can be a heroine from one of your own stories. It can be about a person in your life, a teacher, mentor, mother, daughter, or grandmother. Or something that you feel represents you as a woman. What quality speaks to you of strength?