Top Ten Tuesday: Reading Wishlist for Female Characters

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “Ten Things On Our Reading Wishlist…things you want to see more of in books — tropes, a time period, a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a certain plot, etc. All those things that make you think I WANT MORE OF THIS IN BOOKS!” I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with for this week’s topic. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but then realized that I have many wants when it comes to female characters.

1. More Fantasies Featuring More Than One Relevant Female Character – Can we please have more than one strong, capable female character in our fantasy novels? I’ve become less tolerant of reading fantasy novels where the protagonist is surrounded by male characters and she is just oh-so strong and special. Authors, I need you to spend more time developing multiple female characters. If you can juggle multiple male characters, you can juggle multiple female.

2. Female Characters Who Are Strong In Different Ways – One of my favorite things about Kestrel from The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski is that she doesn’t wield a weapon, but instead uses her intelligence to outwit her enemies. I’d like to see more female characters be strong in different ways that don’t necessarily involve swords.

3. Unlikable Female Characters – If I’m honest, I definitely prefer that I like the characters I’m reading about, but I think there’s something to be said about having unlikable female characters in a novel, especially the protagonist. Sometimes it’s necessarily to be unlikable.

4. Female Characters That Build Each Other Up – I’m really tired of the girl hate trope. I want to read more books where the female characters are there for each other, where they can rely on one another, and where they aren’t pitted against each other, especially if it’s over a guy.

5. Sisters – I’ve always wanted a sister growing up and I never got one, but I live vicariously through books. Give me all the books about sisters, please.

6. Delicate Female Characters – Strong female characters are awesome. I love when a character can really take control and get things done; however, better than the strong female character is the complex one. A female character does not have to be strong in order for her to be well-rounded. I’d like to read more books where the female characters are allowed to make mistakes and be weak.

7. Hard Female Characters – It isn’t often that I come across female characters who get to play the brooding, hard to crack kind. I think I need more of these in my life.

8. Morally Grey Female Characters – I love morally grey characters and if we can get more antihero female characters or complex female villains with interesting back stories, the more the merrier.

9. Mothers – I can’t be the only one to notice that mothers seem to be extra expendable in stories. Take a look at all the Disney princess movies and how often mothers are not in the picture. I’d love to see more books where the protagonist’s relationship with their mother is important.

10. Books Populated By Women – I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve picked up a book and it ended up leaving me wondering where all the women in these worlds were. Men seem to abound, but the women seem to be missing in action. I’d love to see novels where women are the ones with all the prominent roles.

Would you like to see any of these things as well? What would be on your wishlist for female characters? Let me know in the comments and be sure leave a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

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50 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Reading Wishlist for Female Characters

  1. I absolutely love books about sisters and would happily read more of them! 🙂 I like reading unlikeable characters at times too. Fab list!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally agree with all of these! Sometimes I feel like a lot of people interpret “strong female character” to mean “physically strong female character,” when really it means women who have depth and strength, whether that strength is physical, mental (strategy, cunning, problem solving, etc.), or otherwise.

    Great list! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember someone mentioning Queen Elizabeth one day as an example of a strong female irl who was strong in the sense of her moral fortitude / not succumbing easily to pressures, ect. I agree about characters who are strong in different ways!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hard female characters, morally gray ones, and females who are strong in other ways- more than just fighters- totally agree. In fact all of yours really! And I’d love to see books where most of the characters are female.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh yes. Certainly we need more moms. And I also agree about needing more than one relevant female character. And also more different traits and talents for sure. (And if I might add, if one says a female is smart just show it through their actions because often they don’t come across as smart at all which makes me sad.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was a very good list.

    The only thing I’d add to it is that I’d like to see more women in stories who aren’t there to fall in love. While there is definitely a time and a place for that kind of subplot, I think it’s still being used too often. I would love to see women have lots of goals in life that have nothing to do with who they want to date or marry.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your list is fantastic! I would love to see more female characters that are strong in different ways. I loved Kestrel! Have you read The Girl of Fire and Thorns? Elisa was really awesome too. I love everything on your list. It would be wonderful to see more of all of these.

    My Top Ten

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the idea of the morally grey female character! I come across grey male characters all the time but typically women are either evil or good. I can’t resist a sister book either. I have a feeling I’d feel differently if I’d actually had a sister though! Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oooh I really love all of your choices! Especially the sisters/mothers one! I think having these kind of important female characters would really benefit literature, especially YA lit. Great answers!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So many great things on this list! I definitely need more morally grey female characters in my life. I really enjoy Manon from the Throne of Glass series and Regina from Once Upon a Time. They are so interesting and we need more of them!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I completely agree with “Morally Grey Female Characters”! That’s a great addition. I could use a bit more Inej characters in my stories. But, they are tricky to capture well. There’s a fine line, for me, between anti-heroine and just villainous. I’m picky.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. YES TO THIS. I absolutely loved The Winner’s Curse, and the main reason for that was Kestrel. I loved how she didn’t necessarily have to be physically fierce to be considered “strong;” her intelligence was more than enough to prove that. We definitely need more characters like her. And morally gray characters are always so interesting to read about too! Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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