Site Meter Vamps and Scamps: No Heroine is an Island

Thursday, April 06, 2006

No Heroine is an Island

Almost every romance reader is familiar with the TSTL heroine.

The one who is going to go outside at night to investigate the weird sound, wearing nothing by a scanty nightshirt, carrying no weapon, no phone, nothing... nada. Along comes the hero who seems to be loved by all. And every body wants to know why he ended up with that twit who can't take care of herself.

A lot of the times, though, the heroine that some people describe as too stupid to love aka TSTL doesn't really striked me as stupid. She's a softer heroine. Not the strong, bold, brave female that seems to dominate the market these days. I definitely write more of the kick ass female than the softer one, but I do love reading about the softer heroines. The ones who don't mind if a guy opens the door, the ones who aren't humiliated if somebody realizes they are scared.

The kind of heroine that annoys me is the kind who thinks she's so brave, so independent and hell no there's nothing that a man can do that I can't. The one who never asks for help, even if it means she's going to get her throat ripped open by the menacing stalker. The kind who is so intent on being the alpha female that she ends up getting hurt. Or causing somebody else to be hurt.

I'd rather see my favorite heroes end up with a woman who has no problems admitting she can't do it completely alone, than to see him teemed up with a heroine who is so shortsighted and so closed off, she'll bring the house down around her just to spite him.

There are times in life when we all need help, and to write a heroine in the book who just can't ask for matter how bad she needs it, well, not only is it annoying, it's unbelievable as well.

Things I like to see in when I'm reading a book with a kick butt heroine:

* a good right hook
* witty remarks
* independence
* AND MOST IMPORTANT...the ability to know when she needs to stop being so independent and let somebody help.

An awesome wardrobe doesn't hurt either... *G*

I'm pretty independent, always have been. But you know what? I love it when the DH opens a door for me. I love it when he hauls out the trash so I don't have to, or when I'm trying to move something heavy around and tells me he'll take care of it. Yes, I can do it. But he can do it easier. So why not let him?

What is something you don't like to see in a heroine?


Karen Kelley said...

Great subject! I love writing and reading about the kickass heroine but she has to be a little vulnerable as well.

What I don't like in a heroine?

The overly dramatic. Remeber the scene from Gone With The Wind where Scarlet shook the carrot---or was it a radish?---and said, "As God is my witness, I'll never go hungry again." I thought that was a little over the top. Maybe because I've seen the movie a zillion times. LOL

I would've grabbed a gun, said screw this and went out and shot a rabbit for supper. But that's just me and I've never much cared for veggies.

snowflake said...

I don't like heroines who argue too much or argue about every little thing, don't learn from their mistakes and keeps landing in dangerous situations that could be avoided or has just plain faulty reasoning that I can't follow.

Stacy~ said...

I don't like the heroines who will "cut off their nose to spite their face". To me, that's really tiresome and annoying. Or the too independent ones. This isn't in regards to a character but to a real person I know who accused a man, who held the door open for her, of sexual discrimination or harassment or something like that because by him being what I consider courteous, she thought he was being insulting - like she couldn't open her own door. Pul-leeze.

And I don't think this is strictly related to the heroine or more to the storyline, but I absolutely hate it when the heroine is determined to marry someone she just does not love. I don't care if it's to save the family, or because he's an appropriate choice, or because she thinks no one else will marry her, but I cannot stand it.

PBW said...

I can't deal with certain heroines who throughout the novel resist sex as if it automatically induced leprosy, and go through endless denial and guilt sessions before finally agreeing to do the nasty with the hero -- of course not because he wants to or she wants to -- but because it is the only way to keep: 1) the city from being leveled, 2) the very gates of hell closed, or 3) the Otherwise Omnipotent Magical Being from slaughtering innocent millions.

I'm sorry, but I think that's taking the Good Girls Don't Do It thing just a wee bit too far. :)

Lisa T said...

I don't like when the heroine can't learn from her mistakes. She has been there and done it but keeps on because the blinders in her mind only lead in one direction. Take a minute and look around sister! Also can't stand all the angst about sex with the hero. Yes she may have morals but that doesn't mean she's a slut.

Shiloh Walker said...

"cut off their nose to spite their face".

Stacy... THAT is one of my big annoyances. That's been the downfall of many a book in my opinion~ btw, where that picture was taken...i wanna be there.

PBW... oh wow... I'm gonna grin here for a moment... my fave author came to our blog...

but seriously, can having sex save a city?

Lisa , you know there's been several books I just stopped reading because of that.