Monday, August 5, 2013

EIGHT BASIC FEMALE CHARACTER TYPES


Anne Greene here. From these eight basic character types a writer can mix and combine these female traits with the eight basic male character types I’ll discuss in our next lesson.

By now, if you’ve read my lessons so far, you are well on your way to writing that winning novel. But, since there are so many facets to writing, it is difficult to teach a beginning place to start your novel.

This is another beginning. Before you write that first word, you must have a specific female character in mind. The following will help you start building that unforgettable heroine. These are types, and you build your character from these foundations. Feel free to mix several types together if you like. I’ll start with my favorite female type:

THE SPUNKY KID. She is gutsy and loyal. She has moxie, and she plays fair since she’s a team player. She’s my number one personal favorite type of heroine no matter if I’m writing a contemporary or a historical. She’s a leader. Determined and cheerful. She overcomes all obstacles that threaten to keep her from her decided course of action.

THE CRUSADER. If you’re writing an adventure, this heroine is for you. She’s a dedicated fighter, loyal, and determined. A lady on a mission. She’s headstrong, but when she needs to she can be a team player.

THE WAIF. Her innocent evokes a protective urge in any hero. Men want to stand between her and danger, but she has tremendous strength of will. She won’t fight back, but she’ll endure.

THE LIBRARIAN. She is controlled, clever, and restrained. She’s proper, but underneath lurks a passionate woman. This is a great character for an arch. She can be the know-it-all or the shy mouse. I’ve never used this type, but it has great possibilities.

THE NURTURER. She nourishes the spirit. She’s serene and not easily ruffled. She’s efficient and capable. She’s a wonderful listener and a joy to be around. She wants to take care of everybody. I often use her as a secondary character.

THE BOSS. She’s ambition personified. She’s the Crusader on steroids. She focuses on success, no matter the cost. She’s the take charge female. She reaches her goal even if she ruffles feathers along her way. If you combine the Boss and the Nurturer, you have the Mom nobody wants.

THE SEDUCTRESS. She’s an enchantress who gets her way. She’s all about winning. She sizes up everyone in the room the minute she enters. Mysterious and manipulative, she hides a streak of distrust. She’s cynical and knows how to survive. Like the Boss, she’ll do whatever it takes to win. Think Scarlett.

THE FREE SPIRIT. She’s the optimist. She marches to her own drum. Playful and fun loving, she travels through life bubbly and happy, always take time to smell the roses. She makes a good type because she can grow with a great character arch. But if she’s a free spirit with a problem with trust, she may learn trust, but she is always basically a free spirit, though perhaps more subdued.

So choose a character type and build your character, but stay true to her type.

Our next lesson will by TACKLING THE EIGHT MALE CHARACTER TYPES.

Look for it. I’ll post every other Monday.

Which character type do you like to write about? Leave a comment to win a chapter critique.

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Good to see you here again! 

 

6 comments:

  1. Hi Anne,
    I've written about a crusader, librarian, nurturer and spunky kid.

    I'm not sure I'll ever tackle a seductress, but it might be interesting to turn that character around.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Hi Anne, this is Jason - fantastic article!

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    1. thanks Jason! - hope you enjoy my other articles.

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  3. I've used the Waif, a combination of the Librarian and the Nurturer, and the Boss.
    Connie Leonard

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  4. Wow, great combination. I've have used the Nurturer and liked her a lot. But I usually go for the Spunky Kid.

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