Thursday, June 4, 2009

Female protagonists

Currently I'm reading a lot of CE Murphy. These two books are part of her 'Inheritors' series and I've read her urban fantasy with the Old Races, the Negotiator series. All good reads, vivid characters, pacy dialogue, lots of action.

With this 'Inheritors' series Murphy tells the story from several points of view, but the main protagonist is a woman, Belinda. For once, she isn't a man in drag. She's feminine while she seduces men and assassinates people for her queen (who is actually her mother). She is also quite ruthless.

Do male readers have trouble identifying with a female protagonist? Does it worry them, if she breaks the mold and enjoys manipulating opponents using sex? Does it worry them if she is morally ambiguous?

How far will you let a character go, before you stop identifying with them?


Flinthart said...

Intelligence. I really can't handle stupid characters. Give me a character who behaves with a reasonable degree of intelligence, and I don't care what their gender, sex, or species may be.

That's it in a nutshell. To make it clearer would require a massive post in its own right -- so all I'll say is: apply the basic intelligence test to the character's actions and motivations. If they're not flagrantly stupid, I can identify with the character. Otherwise, don't bother wasting my time.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

It's the same for me, Flinthart!

This particular character enjoyed sex and enjoyed dominating during sex. I imagine a lot of men would find that intimidating.

Men used to find me intimidating in normal life. They would admit after knowing me for a while, that I was actually quite nice. A bit daunting, that!