I've been talking about heroines a lot lately on my blog (particularly throughout this month), but this post isn't about ones in books already published. No, this post is about my own writing, which I haven't talked about in awhile.
Teen Author was my first finished novel. Its protagonist was Hannah Young. In retrospect, I can see how weak my writing was, but I'm pretty proud of the fact that I wrote a main character who was quite unlikable at times.
In October, I began writing my retelling of Hamlet, which was also my NaNoWriMo project. That's currently shelved because I lost half of my manuscript (thanks, flash drive), and that half contained some of my favorite scenes (seriously, big twists, lots of strong emotions, and scenes that were quite different from Shakespeare's original). Violet LaFleur (the Ophelia character) has been my favorite character to write so far. She tries hard to please everyone, she loves Grant (Hamlet), and she has an interest in horticulture (something pretty unique, in my opinion), but she's also fiercely independent, smart, and no push-over. She went through so much in the course of the novel, and while her emotional strength is pretty much sapped in the epilogue, she was definitely still courageous and strong. I hope to return to this novel some day because I absolutely loved writing Violet, along with Grant and Jonathan (Horatio).
Currently, I'm working on another manuscript that I see having potential. I don't want to reveal too much about it, but I've researched some interesting things (islands for sale, types of engineering, and acquiring a pilot's license for starters). I also really love how I'm telling the story, especially because I have no set idea where it's going. I mean, I have some concrete ideas of how it'll all work, but I'm not entirely sure how it'll end.
This book's protagonist could possibly challenge Violet for my favorite, but it's a bit early to tell. Her name is Blair, and I've gradually realized it's quite possible she thinks herself perfect (at least when the novel starts...). She's smart and a leader, and I think she could definitely be a role model.
I have another WIP in the planning process, and it currently has 7 protagonists. Yeah, I'll need to fix that soon and cut it down to one or two narrators. They're all strong females, though, and I can't wait to see where their stories go.
I've realized I'm definitely drawn to certain unlikable protagonists (Jane Austen's Emma, to name one), and I think I write a lot of those. They can't be too awful, though, because otherwise no one will want to finish the book.
So, what do you look for in a good heroine? Do you write, and if so, do you notice a pattern with your protagonists?