I recently read(and was thoroughly impressed) by Nico Laeser’s Harmonic: Resonance (review here). So, I reach out to the author seeing if he would be interested in doing a guest post on Sci-Fi & Scary. I was very, very happy with the topic he chose to write on. We need more strong female leads in our books. They don’t have to be kicking ass and taking names. They just have to be strong. I present “Writing a Strong Female Lead” by Nico Laeser.
Writing a Strong Female Lead
by Nico Laeser
When the story for Harmonic: Resonance came to me, the main character, Emily was fairly well fleshed out in my mind. My preferred point of view to write in is first person, and this would be my first attempt at writing a female lead. I try to avoid getting caught up in politics as I write, but as an author, father, and husband, I felt a certain responsibility to write a strong female character, and this began an internal conversation as to what a strong female character should be.
I’ve read, and seen on the screen, countless ass-kicking female leads, but that doesn’t work for my style, and as an immersive first person narrative, it gives the reader less to relate to. A character’s strength, to me, can fit into many categories—physical strength, emotional strength, selflessness, strength to do what must be done for the betterment of others … etc. When I looked to my real life experiences with strong female characters, it became clearer what I value as strength. When I think of my young daughter, and of the woman I hope she will grow up to be, it has nothing to do with kicking ass, and everything to do with making the right choices, hard choices, courageous choices, even when natural human instincts work to present easier options and easier ways out.
I have seen the women in my life deal with grief, hardships, loss, and all that life has to throw at them, and I have seen the selfless ways they have dealt with each situation or event. For a wife and mother, every event is viewed as how it will affect the family, her husband, and her children. A strong female character has the resolve to put her family’s needs before her own.
I love the female characters in my life, and I admire their strength. I hope that Emily, will offer something that the reader can relate to, and I hope that her choices will define her as a strong female character.
In the fiction I write, I want to create realistic, flawed characters. Characters who make choices, both good and bad, that I, and my readers, can relate to. Running and hiding seems like a much more relatable action than stepping forward to fist fight a bear, but most mothers would stand between that bear and their children, even though it would be a fight they could not win.
Author Contact: NicoLaeser.com
The whole world waits for the gates of Hell to open; at least half of them wait on their knees, praying for it to be quick, praying to a god not even the dead can say exists.
I have done all I can to prepare. All I can do now is wait with the rest. I don’t know if anyone will make it through, or if anyone will ever listen to this recording. I’m sure everyone’s version of events will be different, but the end will most likely be the same for us all. They are everywhere now, strange variations of the basic demonic form—horns, talons, and teeth. They too are waiting for the transition, the next convergence.
My name is Emily. I am twenty-three years old, and I will probably not make it to twenty-four. I don’t know what I’m hoping to achieve with this recording, if anything, but I have no one left to talk to, so you’ll have to do.