For my last look at heroine analysis (for the moment, anyway), I took a look at the novel I am currently revising.
I finished a first draft and my first revision that made me rewrite the whole ending. The heroine is a slave in a fantasy world trying to escape and find freedom.
So, can I not hate her if she were another author’s heroine?
- Is she Passive? – She’s a slave, so there are areas that she is a bit passive, especially in response to the hero . . . And yet, she has struggled to find a way out of slavery and she is more than willing to stand up to powerful men. I might need to take another look at her interactions with the hero and make sure they aren’t passive. Make sure the reader understands her thoughts and manipulations to gain her freedom.
- Do I tell one thing and show another? – I don’t think so. Again, I don’t believe I actively tell you that she’s determined. I try to let you feel how she longs for a family and a place to belong, how it’s shaped her, and how she’s willing to give a lot and risk a lot to get it.
- Does she do stupid things? – No. At one point in the story, she does flee the safety of the palace, but that’s because she has inside information on bad stuff going down. Not foolish, and I laid the groundwork in advance as to where she’d go and why. I had some stupid in the story, and I cut it during the first rewrite. There may be more, but nothing I can quickly identify. Perhaps on revision two. . .
So, I might need to work with her to make sure she doesn’t come across as passive without making her overstep too many bounds as a slave. At least, I should take another look at it and try to be objective on whether I’d be annoyed with her or not.
Now, does she exhibit the traits I’m looking for to like her?
- Is she actively involved in solving her problem? – Yes. From the beginning, she is fighting to escape and goes to great lengths to do it.
- Can you identify with her? – I feel like this is harder as she’s a slave in a fantasy world. But perhaps the reader can identify with her feeling alone, unloved, and wanting a home and a family of her own.
- No Damsels – I need to be very careful with that on this story. The rewrite I’m working on has been addressing a little of this, but the very dominant alpha hero can make it difficult. I need to balance her doing things to save herself with his need to protect. I might need to foil him more, throw much harder obstacles in his path. This will have to come through more on my second or third rewrite.
I think the heroine here has potential, and I’ll need to really focus on making her active, not letting the hero do too much rescuing, and showing her strength and determination. Thoughts to keep in mind as I begin the next round of revisions.