Yeah, I’ve never really thought about what makes a good leading lady or even what goes into making a leading lady, good or bad. They just exist like anyone else, but that isn’t really true.
Lets see, I guess to me a good leading lady should…
Be independent: I’m not saying every leading lady should be anti social and have no ties to anybody, but at the same time it makes me sad to see a leading lady who is being led around by her family, friends, or a guy. I mean come on they’re called leading ladies for a reason. They should be leading something, even if it’s just their own lives.
Feel like she existed before the first page: I’m learning the hard way that it’s important not to just dump the reader into the middle of a story, but at the same time if it feels like the leading lady didn’t exist before I opened the book she’s already lost major points in my book (yes Bella Swan I am talking about you). In other words, to me a good leading lady feel real, and real women have lives of their own. In my book a leading lady should too.
Be original: There’s nothing wrong with standing out in a crowd, but not every leading lady has to have spiked hair and wear a dog collar. However, in keeping with my desire to read about girls who feel real I have no desire to read about someone who is like everyone else because that’s just not the way it is.
Changes in some way: I take issue with characters who are stagnant. There could be an alien invasion, true love, and time travel all in one book, but if the female lead is exactly the same on the last page as she is on the first then I’m going to be bored out of my mind. Servant to queen, human to vampire, prey to hunter it’s all good. But the best part is watching how their state of mind and personality chances over time.
In other words, if I’m going to read a book I want it to be a story with a leading lady that has a character all her own.