Thinking of writing a novel with a female protagonist? Excellent choice! To help you get started, here are just a couple of things you should bear in mind:
First, your heroine should be strong. What does that mean, exactly? Well, we have a slight preference for the action hero model, but we’re flexible. Inner strength is well and good, but should probably be complemented by something a little more badass—like, say, being a brilliant geneticist.
Be careful not to overdo it, though. She should be impressive enough to deserve her place as the main character, but not so impressive that she’s a Mary Sue. We’ll question her agency if she doesn’t solve most of the plot problems on her own—but don’t have her solve all the problems, either, because the line between Chosen One and Mary Sue is, for the female protagonist at least, pretty much invisible. She should rescue her companions from mortal peril as often as possible, but she herself should never, ever need rescuing.
Now that we’re clear about the precise formula for “strong,” let’s talk about the delicate PH balance of “female.”