On Monday, I wrote about my favorite male heroes. Now, it’s time to take a look at heroines! There are nine common archetypes:
- The Amazon or Crusader
- The Father’s Daughter, Librarian, or Spinster
- The Nurturer, the Good Wife, or Martyr
- The Boss, Matriarch, or Queen Bee
- The Spunky Kid, Plucky Girl, or The Girl Next Door
- The Seductress/Femme Fatale
- The Mystic, Free Spirit, or Quirky Misfit
- The Maiden, Troubled Teen, The Waif, The Damsel in Distress, The Princess or The Victim
- The Survivor
In case you’re not familiar with all of the types, I have examples. For some reason, the information I found included a male counterpart for each type.
Wonder Woman is naturally the Amazon. Her male counterpart is the warrior. Hands down, this is one of my favorite heroes. I haven’t written this type of character, though. To me she needs to be cast in a role where her power and identity could be problematic. I have yet to figure out that tale.
If you’re into smart but geeky, then Hermione Granger fits the second type. Her male counterpart, naturally, would be a computer geek.
Another character I haven’t written—probably because I don’t read this type—is the nurturer. Molly Weasley typifies this role. Think of her as the one willing to sacrifice herself to help others. Her male counterpart is a protector.
I don’t know about you, but I love READING about the boss type. The best fictional character is none other than Janeway from Star Trek Voyager. She was authoritative and bordered on arrogant. It was her way or no way at all. Maybe the reason why I haven’t written this type is because her male counterpart is also a man in charge. Yes, there would be conflict but not a lot else.
Anyone remember Giligan’s Island? She’s the girl next door type. This character isn’t usually the main character. Her willingness to help others makes her a great best friend. Of course, the male counterpart is also the best friend type.
Any Sex in the City fans? Samantha was the consummate Seductress/Femme Fatale. I love writing this type of character right along with her counterpart, the Bad Boy.
One of my favorite to write has to be the Mystic or Free Spirit. Pippi Longstocking and Ally McBeal are examples. These are free spirits and may even be creatives. Their counterpart might be the fool or even the artist.
Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz was the troubled teen or damsel in distress. This category includes the victim—a character I have written about in an upcoming book, Not For A Moment. She has no counterpart.
The final type is the Survivor. This is a character willing to do whatever to come out ahead. Her counterpart could also be considered the Survivor. I have a couple of book ideas that will feature this type.
I’m not sure why there had to be a male counterpart listed for each type. From a writer’s point of view, it might be more interesting to pair up the types with someone who wouldn’t be her most obvious pairing. Could you image the dark story of the female Survivor and the male Boss?
Next time, meet my favorite antagonists!