Strong Women

I've been thinking a lot lately about what makes a woman strong. I'm in the planning stages of my next series which, at this time, will be eight books featuring a central character, Vivianne. She is my reason for wanting to write the series and she will have to be a very strong character to carry the story line for that long.

In assembling the elements that will make her an interesting, engaging character I've studied stereotypes, role models, heroines, and trend setters. I went to see "Mockingjay Part 1" and was impressed with Katniss. She possesses not only physical skills, but also fierce loyalty, fight, and undying hope. 

I am in love with all the women on the HBO series "The Newsroom". Aaron Sorkin created females who are intelligent, clever, self-effacing, and unapologetically female and sexual. These women don't dumb down or diminish any part of themselves to please others and they inspire me.

Then I discovered Nimue and I knew I had found the final piece of this character. Although a minor character in the King Arthur legend, she fascinated me. She is the female everyone overlooks and underestimates, but she knows her own power. She hides in plain site and lets everyone believe she isn't a threat and in doing so befriends, counsels and influences kings, queens and magicians. Her power is her quiet and sweetness, comfort and understanding--beautiful irony. 

I saw women who I had once written off as just plain weird in a whole new light. I may not agree with everything Madonna or Angeline Jolie have done, and each has made some very public blunders, but both are definitely strong. They have a unique perspective that they are not afraid to live. They are living life on their own terms. That became my definition of a strong woman. 

The beauty in that statement is that it holds true and can encompass all women. Your own terms may include being a full-time mom or choosing not to have children. Your terms may include no marriage, a single marriage or many. You might choose to focus on your career or to dedicate your time to charity work. And actually, these are not either/or scenarios. Strong women don't allow others or society to tell them that they cannot be or have exactly what they want even if it may seem contradictory. They can be a deeply religious gay woman or a CEO/mommy in fifty shades of pink. 

Strong women write their own unique story.

I've been inspired by Vivianne and her story is still in the beginning stages. I want her to be exciting and interesting. I want her to make readers laugh and think. But I don't want her to be a morality tale or a how-to guide. She will live her life her way and hopefully inspire women (and men) to have the strength to do the same.