Erotica author, aka Elspeth Potter, on Writing from the Inside

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Heroine Doe

What do you look for in a romance heroine? Or the heroine of a space opera, or of a quest fantasy? What kind of heroine always makes you want to read further?

Does she need to be an orphan, or have a big happy family, or a mean and awful family?

Should her eyes be amethyst or only ever brown? Can she ever be conventionally beautiful?

Is she spunky? Angry? Sweet? Cynical? Kickass?

Can she physically defend herself? Does she have cool specialties?

Is she lonely? Vengeful? Weary? Angry?

What are the characteristics that, if you were given them in a blurb, would make you want that novel immediately?

What kind of heroine do you wish you were reading about right now?


  1. I like all kinds of heroines. She can be innocent, experienced, shy, outgoing, gorgeous, or average.

    However, there are a couple of types that I DON'T care for: I don't like the "victim" heroine who has a history letting of people (men) take advantage of her and then she meets Mr. Right who's a really nice guy and rescues her from a cycle of bad relationships.

    And while I like kick-ass heroines, I don't care for the overly tomboyish type who fights, shoots, smells like automotive grease, was raised by a pack of wolf brothers and has never felt feminine until she meets Mr. Right who thinks she looks so cute dressed in fatigues.

  2. I prefer strong women but not man-haters. And I don't want to read about women who are "rescued" by a man. She should have enough strength and motivation to rescue herself, even without the relationship.

    Other than that, I'm not picky about looks or background.

  3. I like Bad Girls. I think we've established that ;)

  4. I like sassy,spitfire,but not overly confident, so she doesn't rule everyone around her types

  5. I have thing for underdog heroines. Smart, sassy but not too fortunate ones. Preferably with a few weaknesses or flaws. I have a problem relating to happy, successful and very nice characters.

    Also, I like heroines who, to quote Susan Isaacs, are passionate about something other than passion. Not fanatics; I just like them to have a sense of self and values they don't haggle with to please others. I think I like girls who aren't desperate to be loved or liked.

  6. Also, I like heroines who, to quote Susan Isaacs, are passionate about something other than passion.

    YES. This.

  7. I like flawed heroines who are strong, or discover their strength in the course of the story. They should make the occasional mistake, but not be to stupid to live. They can be plain or beautiful, but if they're beautiful, they ought to know it. Books with amethyst-eyed (or other jewel-toned) heroines oblivious to their own beauty make me wretch.