There's been much talk lately about strong female characters, in the wake of controversial changes to Star Trek,
Star Wars, and Doctor Who. I am a little nervous about stepping into these waters, but I will do so. Here
are a few thoughts on the topic of strong female characters.
Nothing is wrong with female characters in and of themselves.
In fact, strong female characters are good for fiction. This is why there have been many strong women in fiction, going back
years. Frankly, if the main character in your story is a woman, she should be a strong character.
What is the definition
of a strong female character? I think it is simply a woman who takes responsibility for her own life, without needing to rely
on anyone else. For example: A strong female character who has been kidnapped by the bad guys doesn't passively wait to be
rescued, she gets herself free and either escapes, clobbers her abductors, or clobbers her abductors and escapes.
would make her an interesting heroine, a flawed but enjoyable character you want to read about and root for.
character isn't strong because they tear others down. They may build up the characters around them, much as Wonder Woman
did in the recent movie, but they aren't strong at the expense of another character
They definitely aren't Mary Sues
(yes, I'm looking at you, Rae from Star Wars.)
And making a character strong doesn't mean you can forget about
telling a good story. That is the real problem, I think, with the controversy over the recent changes to Star Wars,
Star Trek, and Doctor Who. The so-called "Social Justice Warriors" have got hold of these franchises
and have inserted their messages at the expense of good storytelliing, in the process ruining storied franchise that have
brought joy to millions, but now bring anguish.
So, my advice for anyone who wants to create a strong female character
for his or her story is this: decide what makes your character strong. Remember that she isn't strong because she is tearing
someone else down. She can still have flaws, otherwise she will be a Mary Sue. And, finally, as the saying goes, leave the
message to Western Union.