Strong Female Characters

One bit of encouragement I didn't expect involving my book was that I'd written a strong female character.

Yes, my main character is female, but she doesn't hit things. She's soft and gentle. She falls in love and while she's not hopelessly lost without her man, when he doesn't respond with affection to her advances, she's hurt and even cries for a few pages. Sometimes she is very much in need of help. Sometimes she is very vulnerable. Sometimes she lets the boys save her.

I figured most feminist would laugh her out of the room because she's not Xena or Lara Croft or whatever warrior woman you  want to hold up as an example of a woman who doesn't need a man and can take care of herself.

However, I've had at least three writers compliment me on my strong female character. One even called her an "awesome role model".

After I let this sink in, I realized that  I'd been allowing other people to dictate my idea of what made up a strong female character and since I didn't want to write Shannon that way, I just allowed myself to dismiss her as "not strong".

But why can't strong be warm not cold?
Why can't strong be gentle?
Why can't strong be smart but not cynical, able to fall in love, able to ask for help?

There isn't a reason it can't be.

So the point of this post?

I'm embracing Shannon from my book as a Strong Female Character, no matter what definition someone else might place upon the title. She's my version of strength and I think she's just fine.

If you are interested in Shannon, you can purchase Dragon's Curse through the link below:
Dragon's Curse (The Dragon and the Scholar) (Volume 1)

Do you have a favorite "strong female character" who may not fit the role in a traditional manner?