Guest Writers

5 reasons your novel needs a female protagonist


Did you know that March is Women’s History Month? It is the month dedicated to acknowledging women’s achievements and representation in society. 

female protagonist

“Claude Monet – Springtime – Google Art Project” by Claude Monet – at Google Cultural Institute, zoom level maximum. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –

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But even as the month of March draws to a close, it is always worth noting the role women play in writing.

The typical female protagonist seems to be ever-­evolving, but especially in recent years. Male and female writers alike are bringing attention to the imbalance of gender representation.

Read: On writing dialogue that feels real, speaks truth

The following are five reasons to consider having a female protagonist in your next written piece:

1. Different can be just as good if not better. Obviously both genders are more similar than different. But with what differences there are, let it be something to embrace as a new perspective, whether cultural, emotional, or psychological.

2. Combat under-representation of women in media. Women are on average represented half to two­-thirds times less than men in leading roles in forms of media. So congratulate yourself when contributing a strong female protagonist to the world’s literature.

3. Women’s role complexity is less tapped. If there are fewer female protagonists, there are more future possibilities to explore of their roles as wives and mothers, but as CEOs, military heroes and villains.

4. Provide a chance to step into a female’s shoes. Give readers the chance to experience a female’s perspective.

5. Bring imagination to the page. What would things be like if a female character did something positive, innovative, scandalous and unique? Something that has not done by a female in literature before? Offer instant inspiration for attaining that goal, for writer and reader alike.

Read: When writing, lift your eyes to the world

Whichever way you choose to approach the female protagonist is up to you. Men should not feel uncomfortable writing from a female perspective. Women often write from the male perspective (think, Harry Potter.) Have some fun and give it a try. You’ll be contributing to female equality by improving female representation in media. Best of luck.

Susan J. Peck is a freelance writer and student. She is currently writing for and is a contributing writer at . Learn more about Susan here:


Susan J. Peck

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