Freedom in Fiction

Now some of us love to read about a good Damsel in Distress, a helpless (or close-to-helpless) woman that needs the strong arms of a beefy hero to sweep him away from the imminent danger in her life. Personally, I can’t stand that because I can’t relate. I struggle and stumble through my life at times but I’m nowhere near a DiD. I can run my life, even with its occasional hiccups, pretty well on my own. I don’t need a man or love interest, instead I prefer one. I’m a big believer that no single lover or partner can “complete” your life. They can only enhance the experience along the way.

I like my female characters to be free. Free to feel the way that they feel. Free to be authentically themselves whether they are vampire hunters, bakers with a failing bakery business or frazzled single mothers looking for something to spice up their lives. Freedom is important to me in the characters I read because I want them to choose the hero in the end. I certainly don’t want them to have no say in the matter, no consent. I like my female characters to be like birds, free to roam at anytime but choosing to stay because they want to.

These characters don’t necessarily have to be BAFC (Badass Female Characters) that wield weapons or take down dictatorships or Skynet. They don’t have to save the world. They could just as easily be businesswomen, witches, teachers, stay-at-home mothers or bank tellers. Autonomy comes in many shapes and sizes. It’s like the leggings of character attributes.

As a writer, I try my best to write characters that feel real. I write people that I could see myself running into on the street or I see certain qualities in them that I also possess. I write characters that I wish I could be just like I read characters I wish I could be.

What is a quality that you look for in your favorite characters? Freedom or autonomy? Authenticity? Physical or emotional fortitude? Sassy mouth and a penchant for french fries? Tell us in the comments!


Danielle Donaldson
Danielle Donaldson writes from Southern California where she lives with her husband, a tornado of a toddler and her sassy chihuahua. She spends her sparse free time scribbling down words like a madwoman. Check her out on the web at or on Twitter @WriterDonaldson. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *