Today author Lauren Grimley is sharing a great cause for Breast Cancer Awareness month!
Top ten things more fictional (and real-life) females ought to do:
1. Save themselves (and everyone else) whenever they can.
2. Accept when they can’t.
3. Know themselves.
4. Be willing to change.
5. Embrace their sexuality.
6. Champion their femininity.
7. Appreciate chivalry.
8. Celebrate girl power.
9. Eliminate cattiness.
10. Cry a little & laugh a lot.
Romance for a Reason is all about honoring and supporting real-life women warriors fighting life’s toughest battles, of whom there are thousands. Yet, as a reader and writer of romance (among other genres), it occurred to me how few admirable fictional female warriors graced the pages of the books I read. So I decided to explore the issue, making a plea to writers and readers to demand more of their fictional heroines and explaining my reasons in posts throughout the month. Today we’re talking change for number four. (See the calendar on the Romance for a Reason page for dates and links to the other posts.)
Changed for the Better
In the previous post I espoused that fiction needed fewer fickle females and more women willing to stand their ground. Today I’m arguing for fictional females willing to change. So who’s being fickle? Not me. I don’t intend to take back anything I said in the last post, but I do intend to explain and expand on a topic I touched upon.
Females who change who they are to appease, please, or otherwise prove themselves ‘worthy’ of their man are not the stuff heroes, or in our case, heroines are made of. But neither are characters so small-minded and set in their ways that they miss the opportunity to grow and improve in love and in life. There is a happy place between submissive and stubborn; it’s personal growth.
I said in the last post that the one of the most amazing things about a good relationship is when a friend or lover can make us want to be a better version of ourselves. Loving another person, with all their faults, and, being just as flawed, being loved by them in return ought to make one want to be better, stronger, and smarter. This type of change is not the sign of a weak character. It’s what makes characters dynamic and engaging. Yet, too often writers hell-bent on creating ‘strong-willed’ females miss their stop and ride that train right into stubborn-and-stupidville.
I think writers of series might be more susceptible to this. (I think this, because I’m pretty sure I’m guilty of it at times with my own heroine!) I imagine they’re afraid that if their character learns all her lessons too soon they’ll be out of conflicts and therefore out of books. As a reader of far too many series that didn’t know when to stop, I’m arguing that that might not be such a bad thing. The most interesting characters have numerous flaws. So have a little fun with each, then move on. Let the girl learn a thing or two. Let her grow. And when it’s her time, not yours or your publisher’s, let her go. Her character, as well as the world of fiction, will be changed for the better, and she’ll live on eternally among the shelves saved especially for fabulous fictional females!
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor and a friend and teacher of too many women who’ve been affected by violence, I chose it to also to be the release date for Unbridled. I may not love wearing pink or purple, the colors of these two issues, but I do love a good fight for great causes. I’ve just chosen to battle this one with my pen. Please consider helping in your own way!
How you can help:
Read some romance. Proceeds from Unbridled will be donated to the two charities listed here.
Donate. Make your own individual donation to these two charities or choose a local charity supporting these and other causes affecting women in your area. To learn more about each charity and my reasons for choosing them, visit the Romance for a Reason page. Or click through to donate directly.
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Party hard. Gather the women (and men!) of your book club or just a group of friends for a Romance for Reason party. Party ideas? Check out my blog for ideas on how to plan your gathering. Then download the Romance Reading Questionnaire and/or the Body Lingo Bingo for some fun party activities!
Share. Tweet, status update, review, or just chat with friends about the books, the tour, and the charities (mine or yours)!