Rise to the Challenge: Girl Heroes in Fantasy

In the stream of blog posts, I have been asking for more variety in female characters in fantasy stories.  The challenge came back to me that I should provide some examples.  Below is my list of 30 possibilities: who did I neglect?

The procrastinator who makes you wait an hour because she did no planning to get ready for a night out.

The shopping addict who beg you to go along while she buys items she cannot afford and often returns them the next day so she can re-spend the cash.

The femme fatale who thinks every man in the room wants her, even though most would not look at her twice.

The daddy’s girl who refers to her father’s opinion on each choice and cannot form an idea of her own.

The “I’m okay, you’re okay” commiserating bud who only wants to share with someone who’s as miserable as her.

The new girl who wants to belong but keeps messing up because she’s afraid of what the others might think about her.

The judgmental germ-aphobe who’s only repeated line in the story is “Ouh, that’s gross.” (cliché)

The practical plain girl who always gets it right.

The flirt who is best friends with the practical plain girl – go figure.

The protégé who’s afraid of her music teacher but too shy to say something about his abuse.

The light-fingered tattle-tale who becomes a confidant of the bad guy (cliché)

The outdoors girl in competition with her three brothers and has a booming laugh, chums with the fat girl.

The girl with a boyfriend who’s always trying to keep secrets from him, but wants to tell you those secrets.

The smart but lazy older girl who is jealous of the flirt and her loyalty to the plain girl.

The fixer who has a way with machines even though the boys don’t let her work on the expensive models.

The sneak who steals tokens from others and tries to build a secret hoard.

The know-it-all who wants to be the leader and doesn’t understand why the plain girl always puts her down.

The nurturer who gathers the weak girls around her, not because she’s strong, but because she’s scared.

The dissatisfied bully who thinks she can hide her acts and hangs with the nurturer. There’s a natural pair.

The aesthetic who sees each problem clearly and acts on her own without confirmation from anybody, even the plain girl.

The sexual deviant who tries to lead the younger girls into trouble with the boys.

The co-dependent needy girl who is easily led astray and brings the tattle-tale and new girl with her.

The snide stand-offish observer who gives each girl a mean nickname, but the plain girl still talks to her as an equal. What’s up with that?

The watch(wo)man who takes the late shift and has skills the others envy but don’t ask to learn.

The fearless fat girl who thinks it’s funny the other girls are afraid of snakes, the only one the watchwoman allows near her.

The girl with heart but a dark background who wants to sacrifice herself to a higher cause, but is avoided by the watchwoman as the most dangerous in the group.

The purveyor who does all the work and delegates tasks that the other girls resist until the plain girl or watchwoman tell them to get busy.

The sugar-sweet empty headed girl who cannot focus on the task at hand, but the flirt takes her underwing, making the watchwoman roll her eyes.

The off-key ditty singer who thinks she’s turning work into play, the favorite target for punishment from the watchwoman, until the aesthetic tells her to lay-off.

The girl with honest talent and a self-deprecating manner who we all know is going to a larger arena, but we feel honored that she spent time with us.

The worrywart who manages the finances and is a confidant to (guess who?) the plain girl.

I got a million of these.  Along with the aunts, cousins, teachers and mothers.  Maybe so many female characters live in my head because I only had brothers as a kid.

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