Character Types: The Strong Female Character (TM)


We’re back on schedule with our regular video posting schedule.

And this time we’re actually tying into the theme of the month for once.

In recent decades, the Strong Female Character type has dominated certain action-based genres.

But while this character type can work sometimes, when it becomes the norm for heroines, you’re going to run into problems–just like you do with any other character type.

Watch the video below as we break down the Strong Female Character type and discuss how to portray it convincingly.

Previous Stereotypes:

The Damsel in Distress

The Parents

The Comic Relief

The Mentor

The Henchman

The Herald

Profile photo of Josiah DeGraaf
Josiah DeGraaf is a high school English teacher and literature nerd who fell in love with stories when he was young and hasn’t fallen out of love ever since.
He writes because he’s fascinated by human motivations. What causes otherwise-good people to make really terrible decisions in their lives? Why do some people have the strength to withstand temptation when others don’t? How do people respond to periods of intense suffering? What does it mean to be a hero?
These questions drive him as a reader, and they drive him as a writer as well as he takes normal people, puts them in crazy situations (did he mention he writes fantasy?), and then forces them to make difficult choices with their lives.
Someday, Josiah hopes to write fantasy novels with worlds as imaginative as Brandon Sanderson’s, characters as complex as Orson Scott Card’s, character arcs as dynamic as Jane Austen’s, themes as deep as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s, and stories as entertaining as Wayne Thomas Batson’s. In the meantime, you can find him writing articles here or short stories at his website (link below) as he works toward achieving these goals.
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  1. *hysterical chuckling* The evil overlord… I can totally see that. XD
    Very thoughtful answer to this tricky question, guys. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Excellent, my brother. We thoroughly enjoyed this!

  3. Ha! Hilarious video, as usual. 😛 I loved watching this, and you all covered this stereotype very well (though it’s a tricky subject 😀 ). I find the overly-strong, no-characterization-besides-being-strong female characters extremely annoying. Although I do love Marvel, Black Widow is one of those underdeveloped, strong female characters, I think. Actually, wait. I take that back…she actually does have some background and characterization and a reason for why she’s so strong, at least. I don’t know; what do you think, Josiah? 🙂

    • Hmm… Good question. I would say she does have characterization because of the demons in her past (whatever happened in Budapest, and her training by the KGB), and I’ve felt her more-amoral mindset on life has been delved into rather well. Also appreciate that she’s been given more explanation for why she’s so physically strong given her KGB training. So for me at least, she’s not a glaring example of this trope done wrong.

  4. Great job as always! Keep it up, y’all!

  5. Wow, you guys have TWO COPIES of A Tale of Two Cities in the background! Congratulations! Love that book.
    Hey, y’all should try doing one without a script. Maybe make some points and then just improve based off of the points. That would be fun. 🙂
    Great job. Strong female characters are way overdone, but I have to say, I love a strong female character who’s done well. Thank you guys!


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