What Jane Eyre Can Teach You About Mind-Blowing Heroines

What Jane Eyre Can Teach Us About Mind-Blowing Heroines

Today, I’m guest posting over on The Procrastiwriter, with the post “What Jane Eyre Can Teach Us About Mind-Blowing Heroines.” Here’s an excerpt:

Jane Eyre: Writer's Digest Annotated ClassicsHow to craft three-dimensional, empowered, compelling heroines? It’s a buzzing question, even among female authors. The Bechdel Test, which slaps the sexist label on any story that fails to feature at least two female characters discussing something other than a man, continues to be a hot topic.

But what does all that really mean? And how does it help us create an amazing heroine?

What are the requirements for a strong female character? Does she have to be able to throw punches like the boys? Supposedly, G.I. Joe: Retaliation passed the Bechdel test, and yet its fe
male characters were thinly drawn warrior chicks performing unrealistic feats. Does a strong heroine have to act like a man, totally reject a man’s help, show no weakness? In swinging away from two-dimensional stereotypes of feminine fainting spells and damsels in distress, how can we keep from swinging too far into unrealism on the opposite side of the problem?

For tips on creating female characters who are strong, empowered, and compelling in their own right, let’s take a look at one of our earliest examples of a mind-blowing heroine: Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (whose character arc I analyze in-depth in my book Jane Eyre: The Writer’s Digest Annotated Classic).

Keep reading!

What Jane Eyre Can Teach You About Mind-Blowing Heroines

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.


  1. Thanks for this. I’ve been struggling with the women in my WIP because it’s a historical piece, set during a time in which women had very little autonomy or control over their lives. Your tips on courage and controlling her destiny (if not her life) are giving me ideas. Thanks!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Strong characters always start from the inside out. Doesn’t matter what they can or can’t accomplish physically, as long as they are claiming and controlling their inner selves.

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