On Writing Badass Female Leads

A lot of the protagonists in my retinue are female leads of varying age and ethnicity. To be quite honest, this was somewhat accidental. I consider my novels to be broken up into four primary "ages" in history. The True Mythology series encompasses the warriors of legend that helped forge the world the protagonists live in today. The Era of Conflict is how the high holy orders that stand above all the others were established. The Modern Age is where you dear readers come in, with such fascinating reads as the upcoming Murder the Citizens: HungerTribus DulceOchre AlleycatPretty Little WhispersIn Defense of the Heart. These stories take place in or around the bubble of 2017, plus or minus ten or so years.

Well, when I began writing all of these narratives, I realized that I had a bit of an abundance of male leads and not enough female leads. What's more, an over abundance of narratives that seem only to know how to sell a female lead by stripping her of her clothing and having her defined by little more than sexuality and ambiguity cemented the necessity for a higher caliber of heroine.

I've been asked in the past if as a male I find difficulty in writing female leads. Not in the slightest; it's not dreadfully complicated if you put creating a fully formed, intelligent, believable creation at the forefront rather than a desire to cash in on a quick buck. Consider it critical of me to say, however there is no skill that goes into creating an attractive female, taking off her clothes and calling it a day.

My desire is to create characters that I would be proud to have my young cousins, my God Children and my future daughters look up to and want to emulate. The process is quite simple, really. Take a vessel, and place in her conflict, intelligence, rationality, emotion, capacity, desire to grow, and build from there.

In saying that, I am also not beholden to the trend of creating the female lead who is omnipotent with no weakness, no flaw, and no need of anyone in her world. This is as much a disservice to female readers in many ways as the hyper sexualized female lead. Rather instead I create multi-faceted individuals, give them room to grow, a starting line to pull away from, and peril to conquer and learn from.

My female leads will struggle, they will battle, they will make mistakes and falter and fall and climb back up again. They will question their abilities, their motivations, their ambition. They will have moments of utter despair, of absolute brokenness, and complete darkness eclipsing triumph as well. They will fight, laugh, cry, love, rally, battle and overcome.

Because in the end, isn't that far more compelling than the alternatives?

-Eugene the Author a.k.a. Xeawn Cross a.k.a. Gentleman Raptor