Creating the whole world in your original story can be difficult. The bigger part of success lays in sculpting a whole group of unique characters that will attract the attention of the reader and be related to the common public. There are a lot of various techniques that can help you create fleshed out characters, powerful and noteworthy. This article is about the benefits of creating a female protagonist. In the second part we propose some techniques for making your character stand out. Pay attention to the points below if you want your original story to be outstanding!
Why Write Female Leads?
Some might ask why make a female the main character? What is the point if you could create a good male main character? Here are a few answers for you to consider.
As kids, we absorb all information we can reach out to. A big part of it is the media: movies, books, cartoons and so on. Whenever we watched something as children, we often subconsciously projected the information onto ourselves. That means, that if most movies about courageous adventures and scary fights were about boys, most content about quiet tea parties and obedient housewives was about girls. It formed some stereotypes in our brains that are hard to shake off even today. It is hard to imagine a female president or a female army general. That is why representation matters, and by creating content with specifically selected non-stereotypical roles for women, you can help change the biased attitude of your audience.
Shaking Things Up
Isn’t it boring to read the same old story about the princess waiting in the tower for her prince to slay the dragon and save her? A great reason to write a female lead is just to have fun with your original plot! Write about a woman who becomes a fearless firefighter, a woman who is the boss of the mafia or a girl who leads a scientific expedition. In no time you will become much more involved in your original story yourself!
Think about how your story would be different if you would swap the gender of your main characters. Maybe such an exercise would make you realize some important truths about the world. For example, if your story is about a group of sailors, you would realize how unusual or even impossible it is for women to be among them. This will make you think of the reasons why this happens, and such an analysis could be a great foundation for another essay you need to write.
How to Write Female Leads?
You might think that there is nothing easier. Surely, how hard it can be to write about a girl or woman? The truth is that as we absorb stereotypical content, we are bound to unconsciously reproduce the same: you are bound to describe the usual types of “innocent girl”, “caring housewife and mother”, “beautiful sidekick”. But here are some important points you can consider if you want to write about someone who truly stands out. Some further reading on the topic can be found here.
Experiment with Race
How would your character change if she was of another race? Remember that representation matters here, too. If all of your characters are white, what is the reason behind it? Think about how your story would change and which way it would go if it was about people of color.
Experiment with Age
Another thing to consider is the age of your female lead. It is common to see stories about young, attractive women. However, older women are often overlooked to be boring or not worthy of an epic story. On the other hand, little girls can be heroes too. It all depends on how you want your story to turn out.
Forget the One-Dimensional
Sometimes, if we analyze popular fiction works, we can discover that women are often one-dimensional. They serve a certain function, and this function is how we can characterize them: “flirty”, “caring”, “innocent”, “fierce” and so on. If you want to make your female lead worthy of attention, attribute to her many different qualities. For example, she could be a caring mother and a fierce lawyer at the same time.
Forget the Powerful
When people hear about writing female leads, they often think that it is important to describe powerful women, fierce women, or women who do not care about family or children. Sure, it is important to write about such women too, but you risk making them one-dimensional again. It is important to have stories depicting women in all spheres of life, featuring all kinds of personalities, ages, races and so on. By considering all kinds of women you can truly make your story closer to reality!