It probably isn’t much of a secret that I love writing kick-ass female characters. Some of my past badass ladies include not only main characters such as the Level 1 source Kaede, Sergeant-to-rescuer Yaliana, and war heroes Ira and Dounia, but also side characters such as sharp-shooting Stella and snarky Bei Bei. I love writing women who can hold their own in whatever arena they choose in life, from combat to magic to academia.
However, my bad-ass ladies, while bad-ass, are not perfect.
For those of you have read my works, you know that Kaede is a bit standoffish, Yaliana is impulsive, and Dounia holds a grudge. They make mistakes in their respective stories that can lead to unfortunate consequences. The main thing about my girls is that they learn from their mistakes. They try and fix their mistakes. Things don’t always go as planned, but they don’t give up.
I try to make my female characters as realistic as I can in the world they inhabit, and that means that they are dynamic and while they have flaws, they aren’t going to stay that way. Or, in the very least, they learn to either control or manage their weaknesses.
I guess my problem with so many so-called “strong” female characters is that they are physically strong but otherwise static. One good example of this problem is Lara Croft. Don’t get me wrong – I love Lara Croft. I’ve been playing Tomb Raider since it first came out in the 90s. But the original Lara Croft could fight and was smart, but she didn’t really change over time. She was just “perfect” without having flaws.
As a kid, I loved Lara. She out-shot and out-smarted all the men and looked awesome doing it. But real women should be allowed to make mistakes, to be imperfect. And female characters should be allowed to do the same.