Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Rebellious Princess or a Strong Woman?

First off, I have declared myself done with fangirling for the month. I managed to reread the books, interview the author (which post almost instantly jumped to into my top-viewed posts of all time), and do a pretty indepth review of the series. So without further ado, I shall draw a winner.

Not feeling like pulling out my hat, I entered the four names into a list randomizer seven times each for luck's sake and the winner is ...

Kiri Liz!!!!!!!!

Congratulations! (For some odd reason, you're very good at winning my giveaways ...) Anyways, contact me (you have my email) with an email address attached to an Amazon account (otherwise, I can't give you your prize).

Second off, I want to announce my plans for next month. Because February is my birthday month, instead of featuring another author, I will hyper promote my books, Bookania (and Sew, It's a Quest) it particular. I will be giving away paperback and e-copies of the Bookania quests, and I'll be back later with details on how you can earn entries. (Basically, be my fangirls. For my birthday. Thank-you)

Anyways, on to the title of this post. Rebels and Princesses.

Via Pinterest
If you say the words Rebellious Princess among any group of readers or writers, you would probably launch a pretty heated debate. Some readers refuse to read anything else, sickened by what they call "mamby pamby weepy can't do anything for herself" and others are horrified by these women who cast aside their God-given woman-hood.

Personally, I'm in the middle of the road. I like my female main characters to have a good dose of girl power (because, otherwise, they'd have no reason to be in my genre of choice, except to be an annoying, distracting love interest) but I want them to keep their femininity. I don't require skirts, but I do require modesty.

Most of all, I want her to make sense. Not every girl who wanders into a fantasy adventure will know what to do with a sword (most won't) and even fewer are (realistically) going to pick up the skill overnight. A slightly larger majority might know what to do with a bow, but again, not every girl knows how. Since these are skills most girls need to know when they're thrust on a journey, you're going to come up with a good reason.

For instance, to refer to the mother of this strain of ladies, Eowyn knows how to use a sword because "The women of Rohan learned long ago that those who do not live by the sword can still die by it" - Two Towers. While they aren't expected to use them, they still know how if need be - and she chooses to use it. From my own writing, we have Robin, who was accidentally gifted with swordplay from her Fairy Godmother, Clara, whose parents taught martial arts and swordplay in the real world, and Maid Marian, who had no mother or brothers, but did have a doting father who gave her a boy's education.

In order to know what would make sense, you have to understand what is expected of girls in your world. Eowyn was expected to know how to use a sword, if need be. Robin wasn't, and it was also unexpected for her to have a Fairy Godmother. However, Fairy Godmothers used to be more common, and it's not unheard of for them to make mistakes when twins are involved. In fact, the ancestor Robin was named after had had quite a bit of spunk herself. Despite the fact that in Klarand, not many girls know how to fight, Clara was expected to because of the prophesy surrounding her Water Princess persona. In fact, the Klaranders were prepared to teach her the skills necessary if she didn't come with them.

If their skill is one that isn't a given in their society, they should be viewed as a bit of a sore thumb. Even if it is expected, if it's not the norm, there still should be a few fellow females shaking their heads and clucking their tongues. Robin feels very out of place among her peers, especially other girls. She knows how to put princes and lords to shame ... but other girls ... well, it's not chivalrous to attack an unarmed girl (yes, Robin actually does unconsciously adhere to a code of chivalry - part of her gift).

Also important is how she relates to men. Since her skills intrude into what men think are what is rightfully theirs, there will naturally be friction. They will challenge her and try to put her in her place, but she ought to be able to hold her own. Not necessarily win, but she should hold her own. She should not, however, be so good compared to them that they they kiss the dust at her feet - and making her drop-dead gorgeous while she's at it ... well that's just ... no. I'm a huge promoter of every girl can be (and is) beautiful, but when you're in the middle of intense sword fight, she's probably going to quite disheveled and possibly sweaty. Some girls can pull this look off. Most can't.

And I had more thoughts on this subject, but I've misplaced them. Nevermind. I'll probably be back later (maybe in a month or two) with them. Rebellious princesses are a pet topic of mine.


  1. Gracious, Kendra!! People will suspect you're playing favorites! *coyly hands over bribe money* ;) But I'll be sure to get an email off to you as soon as I can. Thanks!!

  2. Very nice post. I agree with you - female characters should have girl power, but shouldn't be afraid of relying on men either. Which is super hard to write without being cliché. Why are we women so complicated?
    I like your advice on knowing where you character comes from too. For example, a Rapunzel-type character whose been locked away for who knows how long, will probably not have any idea how to use a weapon (unless it be her long hair).

  3. Love your new layout! (But then, it's PURPLE--what's not to love? ;-) )

    Bravo! You've put it so nicely, and some of it exactly lines up with my own (ever-developing) thoughts on the subject of strong female characters. I especially like this line:

    QUOTE: "I don't require skirts, but I do require modesty."

    Amen! Skirts and dresses definitely have their place in making a girl (or woman) look more feminine, but there are times (such as mucking out the stables or clearing the fields of thorny what-nots) when you don't want a lot of fabric around your legs. :-P But modesty (and I do believe a girl can still be modest in boots and trousers) is definitely a must for female characters, especially for us Christian authors. It's a way to let our Light shine in a dark world.

    I also like the bits about being able to "hold her own" in a fight, but not being superior to the men around her, and really thinking about what's expected of her and making her character make sense. Some great things to ponder!

    God bless,
    ~"Tom Wild Rose"~

    You have just been tagged!


Hi! Now that you've read my post, hast thou any opinions that thou wouldst like to share? I'd love to hear them!

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