Monday, March 29, 2010

Maddeningly Unhelpful Advice-How to write a helpless girl

I know a lot of you are writers who write female protagonists. I'm sure most of you woke up this morning and thought to yourself, 'How can I make my main character more needy?' Well, thank goodness you're reading this because I just happened to watch a movie last night that helped me immensely in this area. I thought I would share the wisdom.

1. Make sure your MC is constantly just a step behind her love interest and when possible he is shielding her with his body from whatever threat is present.

2. Make sure she knows how to scream really loud because it's all she can do to protect herself when he is fighting his own enemy and another one comes charging at her.

3. When he is fighting, preferably on the ground with hideous, scary monster on top of him, instead of having her try to help, have her stand there with a horrified look on her face.

4. If she ever does pick up some sort of weapon, she should be completely useless with it.

5. When she is captured (because let's face it, if she's this helpless she will be [probably multiple times]) have her not do a thing but continually say, 'My love is going to come rescue me.'

I actually love the movie that prompted this post, but hadn't watched it in years, and the fact that the girl was a total wimp stood out to me a lot this time. It could be because on Saturday night I saw "Alice in Wonderland" in the theater and walked away saying, "Girl power! Alice was awesome."

What about you? I'm sure you can add a few numbers to my list. How else can a girl show her obvious helplessness?

18 comments:

  1. Oh geez, she needs to trip and fall when running, when she manages herself up, she should run into an abandoned building and "hide," then she should sit there and wait until she is captured, or saved by the hero.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's funny. I think whining about all the discomfort of running from scary bad stuff would be helpful too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What movie is it?!

    I can't stand it when the female MC doesn't know how to stand up for herself. If she fights and is clumsy or fails, I'm totally fine with that. =)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Princess Bride was my guess too and I loved the fact that Alice was totally about girl power.

    ReplyDelete
  5. So funny, The Princess Bride was totally my guess. We pulled that out and watched it on Saturday and I kept thinking what a wimp she was.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Is it Princess Bride? Because if you really made fun of Princess Bride on a public blog, may many six-finger men seek your life.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love the suggestions for wimpy girls. You guys are funny. And yes, it was The Princess Bride. I did fear the six-fingered men, thus tried to keep it a secret, but obviously you all thought the same thing about Princess Buttercup or you might not have guessed so easily. And Jessie, like I said, I love the movie, but I'm just saying....there was a lot of wimpy girl syndrome going on.

    ReplyDelete
  8. WESLEY, AHHHHH, HELP!! THE RODENT OF UNUSUAL SIZE IS AFTER ME!!!!! AHHHHHH!!!! I'M SORRY, I TAKE IT BACK!!!! THE PRINCESS BRIDE IS AWESOME!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, the wimpy girl should always go investigate the strange noise she heard in the garage when she's home alone. Especially when there have been murders or other nasty things going on in her neighborhood/life. And she should never take a weapon with her when she does this.

    ReplyDelete
  10. SO The Princess Bride. That's the first thought that came to mind while reading this post. Love it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. My protagonist starts out sort of helpless, but she is determined in her quest and she ends up surprising herself. I watched New Moon the other night and besides the fact that I thought it was boring - could Bella be anymore helpless and pathetic? But man Jacob was hot. Thanks for the advice.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love your twist on how a heroine should react. ;) We've come a long way from the helpless damsel in distress. Thanks for the reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  14. How about when her love interest is being pummelled, the bad guy's weapon lies at her feet, and she just stands there and screams.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love The Princess Bride and guessed you were talking about it, too. But you did forget to add, have a pensive moody moment where, with faraway eyes, you describe your dearest love. Come on, now.

    And she really just sat quietly through the whole Iocane powder scene. Really. Set piece, much?

    "Have fun storming the castle!"

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love James Bond films, but always cringe when the woman scream 'oh James!' (uh, both when being rescued and being romanced).

    ReplyDelete