Characters Worth Emulating by Patty Blount

 One of my favorite characters is Dana Scully, of the old TV show, The X-Files. 

Played by actor Gillian Anderson, Agent Scully inspired a whole generation of girls to enter STEM fields. Scully wasn't merely a government agent. She was a medical doctor and a scientist. And, she was also a devout Catholic. 

I loved how her character frequently wrestled with issues that couldn't be taken as simply a matter of faith. 

As a author who writes mostly romance fiction, it's important to me to develop female characters who are strong in their own right, who don't need saving because they save themselves. 

In a 2000 episode called Orison, Scully is abducted by a sick, twisted character she'd first encountered during the second season of the show. Donnie Pfaster was a fetishist, escalating to murdering his victims. In this episode, he breaks into Scully's apartment and subdues her. Tied up, tossed in a closet, her head still ringing, he prepares his rituals. She knows she has one shot at escape. 

We see her -- STILL BOUND -- keep her wits about her as she inches her way out of the closet, under the bed, and across her room to where her gun is, tossed on a dresser. She even manages to wriggle her cuffed hands from behind her back by working her legs through them. 

Just as her partner breaks down the door to rescue her, we see Donnie Pfaster fall as Scully empties her clip into him. 

She doesn't NEED anyone to save her; she can do that all on her own. But wow, is she glad to see Mulder. 

Too many critics of the romance genre believe all we're writing are the bodice-rippers popular back in the 70's when today's romance features incredibly strong-minded woman -- woman with careers, with children, with goals and purpose. While many of these woman might choose the bear over a man, they'll also choose THE man, the novel's hero. 

That's what's important here. The CHOICE. 


  1. That is THE key to a good romance!

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  7. I always try to create strong female characters, even though most have flaws. I want my granddaughters to feel like they have a say in their world.


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