Author Andrea Buginsky discusses what makes a heroine strong and how she discovered her inner heroine.
Although I write about several different characters, my main characters, the heroine of my stories, are female. Perhaps it’s because I’m a girl myself, or perhaps I see myself in these characters.
Growing up, I was definitely not the heroine in my own story. At least, I didn’t see myself that way. I was shy and didn’t have a lot of friends. I tended to hang out with the people my closest friend hung out with year-to-year. I also missed a lot of school because of my heart condition. I got sick a lot, and stayed sick for long periods of time because of it.
Then, in my junior year, I finally met my group of friends. Friends whom I’m still very much in touch with today. These girls give me such strength as we grow up together, go through life’s tribulations together, and cry on each other’s shoulders.
So, I guess it’s not hard to see why I choose female heroines in my stories.
To me, a strong female heroine is one who fights for what she believes in. She battles her struggles and fears to get to where she needs to be, and allows her friends to help her through. Times do get tough for her, and she has “why me?” moments, but she pushes past them with help from her friends. In the end, she always finds her inner heroine, and grows into a better person in doing so.
When I write my stories, I think about the strength my friends and family gave me growing up. I then give this strength to my heroines, and watch them grow. I’m always amazed, though, when they start to take over, and become strong, independent heroines of their own. They often teach me more than I taught them.
When I wrote Halli in The Chosen, I was really writing about me. She had so many of my qualities: friendly, shy, quiet, loyal, and a good friend. I had to surround her with characters that would bring out both her good qualities and bad ones.
For example, Kaidyla, another member of Halli’s group, was very worried when she learned Halli, a brand-new paladin just coming into her powers, was going to be in charge of healing the group, her family. Kaidyla didn’t like it at all, and said as much. But over time, she got to know Halli, and saw how remarkable she is. The two became close friends, and feel like sisters.
Then there’s Silvor, who saw something special in Halli the moment he laid eyes on her. He took Halli under his wing, stood up for her, helped her, and protected her. It’s no wonder their friendship grows to where it does.
Striker, the group leader and Kaidyla’s husband, also saw the potential in Halli and guided her along the way. His daughter Lumina and best friend Red also liked Halli from the start, and supported her efforts to become the paladin they knew she could be.
Thanks to the help and friendship Halli received from her group, she was able to overcome her inner demons and blossom into the heroine she was always meant to be. This is what I feel a true heroine is: one who overcomes adversities to discover the true heroine inside. I’d like to think I’ve finally found mine, thanks to my own group of warrior friends.