Enjoying A Great Story

3 Female Characters All Suspense Authors Should Study

Strong, fascinating female characters are often at the heart of the mega-successful novels. Consider Hermione Granger. She may not be the title character of the books, but she leads the way in terms of memorable characters. It was often Hermione, not Harry, who would save the day. If you are wondering how to improve the way you write female characters in your suspense novels, study these modern women. Suspense novel fans will be glad you did.

Kinsey Millhone

Sue Grafton spent decades developing the tough but compassionate character Kinsey Millhone. As the leading character in all the "alphabet series" of books by Grafton, Kinsey is in her thirties for all the books, although the author wrote them from the early 1980's until her death in December 2017. They were all set in a time before smartphones and tablets were the norm. If you have the time, read all 25 of the alphabet series. Start with A is for Alibi and end with Y is for Yesterday. If you don't have the time to do that, pick up any book in the series. Grafton crafted the books so that there is distinct growth of the character throughout the series but also in each individual book.

Claire Summers

In Joe DeRouen's 2015 novel Memories of a Ghost, the main character Claire Summers is battling demons she doesn't understand. Although her life is complicated by the fact that she has amnesia, the real shock is that she is pregnant. Imagining the horrifying reality of waking up to realize you are both pregnant and without your memories is just one of the many things that engage readers with the character. This novel is worth studying because of the interesting, complex character that Claire turns out to be as the story unfolds. This character may not have her memories, but you won't forget her.

Anne Shirley

Lucy Maud Montgomery created a main character that is perhaps the most beloved female character of all time. Anne Shirley infused Anne of Green Gables with a kinetic energy and incurable optimism that everyone wanted to have. Although this series of novels are not in the suspense genre, a character like Anne would be a good fit for a suspense novel. She has been through extreme adversity, but she never hesitates to stand up for what's right even if it risks all that she's spent her life building. Be sure to take notes as you read any of the Anne books, taking specific notice of how Montgomery seems to effortlessly reveal parts of Anne's true character in big and small scenes of the book.

Finally, the best modern women suspense novel authors can write will be ones that are one-of-a-kind. These characters should simply be the starting point for your imagination. Just like women in the real world are multifaceted human beings with flaws and weaknesses as well as strengths and cool attributes, your characters should embody good and bad things about human nature.


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