Is my Heroine too Stupid to Live?

I watched an old movie the other night where the heroine seriously tugged down her half shirt, reclasped the buckle on her four-inch slingbacks and ran into the woods because she thought she heard a noise.  The bad guy was waiting and I thought… “Get her.  Come on, bad guy.  You deserve a win.”

Often in writing the writer needs to get the heroine alone.  Either for a showdown or for some comic relief.  But how this happens is the true challenge.  Would any woman with a brain really head into a showdown with the ultimate bad guy without inviting the hero and his big old gun along?  Really?  Even if she was way mad at the hero for whatever reason?  Um…no.  Girls with brains take the trained guy with the gun.  Girls with brains stand BEHIND the big guy with loaded gun.  In fact, really really smart girls give the trained hero a map to the showdown and go to the mall instead. 

Rumor has it chicklit is dead.  I love chicklit.  The sexy humor is fantastic.  But the days of the out of work hairdresser turning into a detective to save the client she met once…are over.  We like heroines with brains.  And smart women don’t go half-dressed into a drug lord’s warehouse to find evidence to help an old buddy.  We call the guy with the gun.

I truly think chicklit is about to explode onto the scene again.  Maybe being called “Upbeat Women’s Fiction…” but most of us know it’s still chicklit.  We need the humor.  We need the fun.  And if it’s written right, if the heroine somehow does find herself facing off with the bad guy alone…it has to be plausible.  It will be.

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8 thoughts on “Is my Heroine too Stupid to Live?”

  1. terry says:

    Love it! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!!!

  2. Chris Bailey says:

    Rebecca, I hope you’re right! I don’t care what my chick lit is labeled, but I need it to keep coming. Life throws enough curves! Why would I want to read my way into a deep depression? I love heroines who can think their way through life’s messes and come out laughing. She can take home the man in the end, but he’s the satisfying prize, not the only brain driving the outcome. All the best with your writing!

  3. Lynn Rush says:

    Write on! I’m with ya, Rebecca.
    Loved this part, “n fact, really really smart girls give the trained hero a map to the showdown and go to the mall instead.”

    I’m not a shopper, but even I would agree!!

    Nicely written.

  4. LOL! I completely hear ya! As writers we owe it to our readers to create smart, funny strong women- and men who can keep up with them ;).

    Great post Rebecca!


  5. I agree with you completely, Rebecca. Regardless of which subgenre, i.e. chicklit, historicals or paranormals, our heroines need to be smart, witty and dressed in a great pair of shoes.

  6. saydegrace says:

    I hope you’re right. My rewrite of one book is kinda getting a chick lit feel to it and well I like it. Alot! Now I just have to get those pesky people who buy books to like it enough to buy it 🙂 Great picture by the way!

  7. Jeff Salter says:

    Not certain if my first series of 3 novels (un-published so far) are chick lit or not. But the heroine is smart, savvy, independent, courageous and resourseful. She gets into predicaments, but not because of stupidity … usually because she’s helping somebody else.
    In the second series — more likely chick lit — different heroine has similar qualities. Her predicaments are mainly because she listens to her close friends’ persuasive advice. But she’s still NOT an idiot who would take a shower in the middle of the night when a known killer is in the house because she left the cellar door unlocked.

  8. Jeff Salter says:

    I should have added that my second series of manuscripts are novels driven by comedic romance.