It's fun to read and write about a strong female character, but there are a lot of them in this genre. When you get so many of the same type of protagonists, the books don't stand out from one another. It's the author's job to make sure their heroine is unique and memorable.
Here are a few tips to having a fantastic and original PNR heroine:
- Give her an unexpected job. We see many assassins, spies, and law enforcement officers. While those careers provide a good background for fighting experience and opportunities to mix with the dark side, there are several other jobs to choose from. What about a teacher or a nurse? Or even a rattlesnake milker. That's a dangerous job!
- Don't make her a loner. There are too many orphans and women from broken homes in PNR. Everyone needs some support. Give her good (smart!) friends and/or a decent family.
- Wit and sarcasm is fine. So is a little attitude. Yet don't go overboard. If the protagonist gives sass back to everyone, no one is going to like her. If she never follows her boss' orders, she's not going to keep her job no matter how good she is.
- Don't make her a glamor queen or a scarred beautiful killer. Not every man needs to lust after her. What's important is that her love interest finds her gorgeous.
- Make her strong, smart, and brave, but most importantly, make her flawed. Everyone has flaws. Protagonists become boring if they're perfect. Give the powerful characters flaws equal to or greater than their strengths. It'll be much more worth the reader's while when the protagonist overcomes them.
What types of heroines do you see too much of in PNR? Any additional tips on how to make them unique?