When a fellow blogger here at The Naked Hero changed her nickname, I jumped at the chance to use the “Kick Ass” title. Why? I love kick-ass heroines. To really enjoy a story, I need a heroine I can root for and relate to. But the title can mean different things. There are a few qualities I think of as kick-ass.
Characters in the books I read rely on the heroine. They count on her to be strong, to protect them, or at least to try. She’s loyal. You screw her over and you can expect nothing but the same from her. But if you’re her friend, she’ll put herself on the line for you. The type of book might dictate if that line is fighting demons or telling off a coworker, but regardless, she’s willing to put herself out there for the sake of loyalty.
Many times, making the right decision is the same as making the hard decision. In fact, this is almost always true in storyland. A kick-ass heroine has the resolve and inner strength to make the tough calls—even if it doesn’t always make things easier for her, or make her happy.
A kick-ass heroine isn’t perfect, and she doesn’t pretend to be. She makes the wrong call sometimes, and then she’s tough enough to face up to the consequences of those mistakes. In fact, her ability to succeed through pure force of will—despite her imperfection—is what makes her so fun to read about.
You might notices that none of the qualities I consider kick-ass have anything to do with the heroine’s physical or magical prowess (although those qualities are fun to read about, too). To me, whether a heroine is kick-ass is dictated more by her strength of character than her aptitude with a knife.
What qualities make a heroine kick-ass to you?