"I can't be right for somebody else if I'm not right for me. I gotta be me."
One of the criteria for most publishers when they outline submission guidelines is a strong heroine. So last night while I was watching Glee, the line above caught my attention and the idea for this blog was sparked. Readers want to read about strong characters and since the majority of readers of romance/erotica are women, they especially want to read about strong women.
Strong women know who they are and are comfortable in their own skin. They accept themselves and even their own flaws. We want to see larger women who don't hide their bodies under layers of dark clothes but buy clothes that highlight and flatter the curves that they should be proud of. These characters are not afraid of colors even though "black is thinning". Sometimes, black is just plain dreary. If you're goth or going to a funeral, it's great but on a sunny, warm, spring day, it looks freakish.
Strong characters have opinions and freely state them. I envy young women who already have this quality, with me it came with age. When I was in my twenties, I would rarely even state an opinion. Never mind go against another person's opinion. Once when I was young, my mother-in-law to be told me that my opinion shouldn't matter that I should just do whatever he (her son) wanted. It was in response to going camping. When I met him, he and his friends would go camping at least twice a month during the spring and summer. For a while, trying to be a "good girlfriend", I sucked it up. My idea of "roughing it" is having to walk to the ice machine in a hotel to get my own ice. After a while it became abundantly clear that I hated camping. When I actually expressed my dislike for it, I was respected more for ti. No one should have to suck it up all of the time. I even tried it again last summer but a bear traipsing through the campsite put the final nail in the camping coffin. If our hero is an alpha, he doesn't want to have a doormat. He wants someone to stand up to him and call him an "asshole", if that's how his is acting.
What do you think about strong heroines?