Monday, November 28, 2011

Top Ten of things heroines don’t do or have in fiction

As an author, I do strive to make my heroines less than perfect because, as a reader, I love to read about real people and real life even if it’s fiction. Like everyone else, I read a lot, particularly anything paranormal and women’s fiction, which includes romance and chick-lit. Recently, my best friend and I talked about our favorite books and how many of them don’t usually include activities we do in real life, such as taking showers or brushing our teeth. So I have compiled a list of the top ten (often funny) things heroines don’t seem to be bothered with in fiction.

10. They never carry a handbag

In a time when celebrities seem to be into ever larger bags, think stuff that resembles suitcases, I find it quite strange that heroines in fiction seem to get away with stuffing their wallets, toiletries, keys and what else not inside their coats and pockets (if they have any.) In many books they just seem to fish whatever they need from the air.

9. Have no allergies

Oh, how I envy them. I don’t know about you, but I always have some sort of sneezing, itchy eyes or runny nose trouble going on due to my dust mite and nut allergies, hayfever etc., which is why I always have eye drops or Claritin available.

8. Have no job/bills to pay

Most fiction heroines have no job, and if they do, you never read about them visiting their bank, checking their account balance, paying their bills, etc. Doesn’t that sound like bliss?

7. Have all the time in the world

In real life, we organize our time schedule very carefully, but still find ourselves rushing to get everything done due to unforeseen circumstances and hassles while our heroines breeze through their days effortlessly, with minimal resistance and without encountering any trivialities such as having to clean the carpet because the cute puppy has just made a mess. There’s only so many hours in a day. Most of us arrive home from one’s job, do the cooking, the cleaning, help the kids with their homework. By the time we’re done, it’s midnight and we can’t wait to hit the pillow only to wake up six hours later to start the whole day regime aka ordeal again. Wouldn’t it be lovely to spend a day like many fiction heroines, meeting friends for lunch and sipping margaritas while complaining about our wee troubles, such as men, that wouldn’t include squeezing in time to iron the laundry, which brings me to the next point.

6. No real life problems

Have you ever read about a blocked drain? No, me neither, even though my friends and I swap experiences on how to remove all the disgusting stuff about once a month. I wouldn’t mind swapping all the tiny inconveniences such as cleaning blocked drains for being hunted by a zombie or a blood-craving (yet very sexy) vampire.

5. She doesn't really have to look for Mr. Right…and he’s rich!

Remember that one book in which the rich guy stalks the heroine, showers her with flowers, expensive dinners and gorgeous designer jewelry? You don’t know which book I’m talking about ‘cause there’s so many of them? Exactly.

4. Everyone’s gorgeous

If there’s something my best mate and I agree strongly on it’s that in most books the heroine and everyone else are described as strikingly beautiful, which means no bad skin, no bad hair day, no ounce of fat on the bones...and it’s all natural. Too bad for us, the beauty clinic they used isn’t mentioned, otherwise we would all line up to get the perfect body without looking fake.

3. The super clever, the super stupid, and the super popular

Have you ever noticed how some heroines always seem to figure out everything? They must be either psychic, or they have Apple’s newest chip inside their brain. Either way, I’d love to be like that. Might’ve saved me a few bad turns in life. Then there are the ones who make one stupid mistake after another, making us wanna scream and rip our hair out in despair. And finally, the super popular heroines. But where are the normal guys and girls, you know, the ones who have to learn from their mistakes? Just saying.

2. No food

In books, heroines seem to go endlessly without food and water. They’re never starving, which in return means they never have to prepare breakfast, lunch or dinner. This might explain point 6, i.e., why they never have to rush anywhere…unless it’s a hot date. It might also explain why they never visit the restroom unless to apply makeup or gossip.

1. No mood swings

I’m not a moody person, but I do find that my circumstances and physical/mental wellbeing influence my moods a little bit. We hardly ever find that in fiction. Everyone’s so consistent.

Please do share your thoughts and anything you might’ve noticed below.

Jayde x


  1. This is hilarious. And so very true. Of course if they carried celebrity sized purses, they'd have a built in weapon. But it would, I guess, be frustrating to have to rifle through it to find your zombie/vampire fighting gear.

  2. I wonder about these things sometimes, but it never takes away from my enjoyment of the story. I read to get away from everyday life. I have these things in my life, I don't want to read about them! Did you know there is a blog called, "But what are they eating?" and it talks about the food in books. I thought it was a funny thing to blog about. In the things I write, people are always eating and doing chores, but I guess it's because they live on a farm.


  3. I read something on this recently for NaNoWriMo....except this author was telling us to *take out* the mundane stuff: brushing teeth, doing bills, etc. I think his premise was something like, "no one wants to read about a character going to the bathroom." It's boring for the reader. We can assume that our heroines do such thing in their free time, but right now there's a world to save! There's drama to overcome! Let's find out about that instead of an interlude to go grocery shopping!

    However, I completely agree with #5-3. These heroines just have it too easy.

  4. I've officially decided what I want to be when I grow up: a heroine in a fiction novel. Thanks, Jayde!

  5. Very amusing. Though, mood swings made it in to my NaNoWriMo... had to have them! Now... for the want of a clogged drain (or similar) in Regency England! Chamber pots did cross my mind though, LOL

  6. This is sadly (and funnily) true, but I probably wouldn't have thought about it without you pointing it out. Thanks for the post!


  7. hahaha, THIS, 100%. And it traverses the genres, too, with notable absences of things all humans don, like eat, drink, and use the restroom. I actually make it a point to mention/hint at those things occasionally in each of my novels because I find it glaring obvious when left out completely.