How do I write a cool, strong, tough, skilled female character without making her annoying?

How do I write a cool, strong, tough, skilled female character without making her annoying?

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  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Pretend it's a man. Then change the pronoun and superficial descriptions in final edits. Add brief acknowledgements of female experience as you see fit.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I sold a mystery story doing this. Finished it and realised I hadn't included a female character. The only one I could gender swap without changing the plot was the clichéd edgy sleuth

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >clichéd edgy sleuth
        Damn, would have been a kino character if he was still a guy. Now it's just your average coombait hood-wearing bawd

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      sounds like a thin veneer for homosexuality

      Don't consider the character's gender when writing.

      >gender doesn't matter until I arbitrarily decide whether or not this character should fill my psychosexual impulses or not last minute.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        I love when being sexually attracted to a specific sort of woman somehow makes a person gay
        Are women who date basedboys secretly lesbian?

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Don't consider the character's gender when writing.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      But different genders have different attitudes

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        only in certain areas. plenty of feminine dudes and masculine women exist

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          This is wholly unhelpful information

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            So imagine a woman who does heroic shit, and isn't annoying about it. Plenty of examples exist.

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I fricking love kugyuu

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Write a highly agreeable and neurotic character

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Thank you Dr Peterson

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Hey I didn't type some bullshit about israelites having an average of 20000 IQ, so I can't be peterson

  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    you cannot. If it's a girl, people will call it your idealized waifu. If it's a boy, they'll say it's your self insert

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Why would her being cool, strong, tough and skilled make her annoying? The only times I see this as being an issue is when the writer makes them mary sues, or when they are constantly gloating about how cool they are.

  7. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Followup question: do you think it's wrong or annoying for male characters in the story to react to feats performed by the female character?
    As in, if you write basically female Conan, is it going to be jarring to have male characters being like "wow it's unbelievable that a woman can do this"? On one hand it seems like a natural response that the male characters would make, but on the other hand in today's modern world it could come off as "there goes the author pushing feminist shit"

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I think you should focus more on it making sense within the setting.
      If the character has never seen a woman fight a bear barehanded and win and this is not a normal thing women do in the setting, I think it would make sense to acknowledge it.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Well I'm thinking more in the sense of "freak athlete" rather than superhuman. So she can whoop 99% of the populations ass, but not necessarily kill a bear.

        https://i.imgur.com/hbPOWYO.gif

        Unironically, I think Shana from the OP is one of the best examples of a competent female lead I've ever seen. She's much more competent than the male lead of the story she's from, at least in the beginning, but she's written to be that way because of her background and personality rather than the author simply making the male lead a moron to make her look better in comparison. Her competence also doesn't replace her femininity, and it comes into conflict with it in interesting ways as the plot progresses, since she's basically a child soldier raised by autists who doesn't really believe she has normal human feelings until they arise without her expecting it.

        Anime (and it's counterparts) tend to retain the femininity of its female characters a lot more noticeably than western works.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          I think it depends on the character who says it if it comes off as awe or scornful disbelief.
          In real life if something like that happened you'd have all sorts of reactions, from dicksucking "yay slay queen!" shit to resentful chud "She ain't shit I would rape her 1v1" shit

  8. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Make her moronic

  9. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Unironically, I think Shana from the OP is one of the best examples of a competent female lead I've ever seen. She's much more competent than the male lead of the story she's from, at least in the beginning, but she's written to be that way because of her background and personality rather than the author simply making the male lead a moron to make her look better in comparison. Her competence also doesn't replace her femininity, and it comes into conflict with it in interesting ways as the plot progresses, since she's basically a child soldier raised by autists who doesn't really believe she has normal human feelings until they arise without her expecting it.

  10. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Make her wholesomely devoted to a wonderful man

  11. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Well what type of character do you want? A Lady of War like Beatrix from FF9? A cunning Anti-Heroine like Lina Inverse from Slayers? Or do you want the toughness to be more in her personality, like Agatha Christie's Miss Marple?

  12. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Subject her to rape.

  13. 1 month ago
    Anonymouṡ

    * Don't make her a male character. Don't make her beat a very strong man at arm-wrestling. It's just silly.

    * Show the effort and sacrifice behind any achievement. Show the 99% perspiration.

    * Make it hard for her. If her abilities are exceptional, fate should give her exceptionally difficult tasks. Or, better still, she should seek them out.

    * Don't make her obnoxious. A pretty good rule of thumb: ask "What would Hollywood do here?" and then do the opposite. The Hollywood Badass Female always goes out of her way to humiliate the men around her. IRL, admirable and superior people don't do this. They know they're superior and they don't need to demonstrate it. They're more conderned with trying to build other people up than tear them down. As Nietzsche said — "What do you consider most humane? — To spare someone shame."

    * In other words:— Don't give her sassy comebacks.

    A good example of all this is "The Terror" by Dan Simmons. It's a strange historical/horror/fantasy novel, partly based on a real Victorian expedition to find the Northwest Passage. Simmons basically picks up the story with the ships stuck in the ice (which is probably what happened — they were lost without trace). Supplies are running out, one of the sailors is looking to stir up trouble, and to make matters worse there's a monster out there who keeps eating everyone.

    The hero is the captain of one of the ships. The cool female character is an Inuit woman who ends up with them. Eventually everything goes to pot and a bunch of the sailors mutiny. The MC escapes but is wounded. The woman then rescues him using her cool survival skills.

    It's good because it's believable. She doesn't do anything impossible. Also she doesn't make sassy remarks, or indeed any remarks, because SHE HASN'T GOT A TONGUE.

    She's pretty much the perfect woman.

    (Why hasn't she got a tongue, you ask? Read the book.)

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Very helpful post but one thing I have trouble with is: how do I achieve all this while retaining her ditzy, whimsical femininity?

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymouṡ

        I suspect this question is itself, dare I say it, whimsical. But on the off-chance you're serious:— high achievers aren't ditzy or whimsical. Just read some biographies.

        Joan of Arc — not ditzy or whimsical

        Florence Nightingale — not ditzy or whimsical

        Charlotte Bronte — not ditzy or whimsical

        Marie Curie — not ditzy or whimsical

        Catherine the Great — not ditzy or whimsical

        Hilary Hahn — not ditzy or whimsical

        Emily Dickinson — hmmm, ok, she was a BIT whimsical. But she was a poet; what are ya gonna do

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Those are exceptions of the womanly personality though, which I understand the whole "strong and tough etc" is too, but at this point we're just writing a dude, or a regular person.
          I'm thinking more like what the anons said before about Shana/anime retaining the "girliness" of even their tough female characters, but obviously I wouldn't want to cross into the waifu/tropey side either. It's a balancing act.

  14. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    well you have to give her flaws and blindspots too, and also giver her problems to deal with other than "people less cool/strong/tough than me don't like me"

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