The Leading Ladies of Lit

I’ve noticed, from reviews and speaking with readers, that we are very particular about our female protagonists. Sommer’s hesitance over trusting Austin was irksome, while Alexandra and Sydney’s unfavorable decisions were outright loathed by some.

As writers, I think it can sometimes be a struggle to achieve that balance between strength and vulnerability. As a woman, especially a woman of color, the same rings true.

We all want something different from our main characters, but the minute she starts playing hard to get or pushing our hero away, I feel the collective eye-rolls from across the contiguous United States. Sometimes, in reading other authors from across all different types of genres, I find myself doing the same.

So…what are we looking for in our leading ladies of lit? And as a woman, do you feel the pressure to be strong all the time?