Make Mine Spunky! by Lynne Marshall

First off, I’d like to tell you about a couple of blogs I’ll be visiting next week.  Won’t you please join me:

1/28/13 at Babbette James’ blog – where I’ll be offering some advice to aspiring authors. (with book giveaway)

1/29/13 at Seekerville blog – and I’ll be discussing the Revision Letter, what it means and how to deal with it.  (with book giveaway)


The Pert and Plucky Heroines of Romance

Who they are

  • If you’ve read one or a hundred romances, you’ve probably already been      introduced to a particular character type presented by Tami Cowden and      cohorts named The Spunky Kid in their Sixteen Master Archetypes book Heroes & Heroines. This spirited underdog not only has to sort out her messy life, but win the guy along the way.
  • These characters are the unsinkable Molly Browns of the world where “I ain’t      down yet” is their mantra, and they are my favorite kind of character.

Who does them best?

Sandra Bullock accepting her Razzie for Worst Actress in person for All About Steve. Now that’s spunky.

  • My absolute favorite author of these types of characters is Susan Elizabeth      Phillips. She manages to strip her plucky heroines down to the bare bones in the beginning of her stories, force them to lose everything, leave them  dangling over a cliff without a foothold, yet she still manages to bring them back to life…one step at a time, until they conquer all, including the hero, before the end of the book.
  • Isabel Favor watches her self-help empire come crashing down around her in the opening pages of Breathing Room.
  • Blue Bailey begins her journey wearing a beaver suit in Natural Born Charmer.
  • Meg Koranda is down to her last few bucks and, as Maid of Honor, manages to ruin a perfectly planned wedding before the end of chapter one in Call Me Irresistible.

Why do we love them?

  • Because we can relate to them.
  • From where they’re standing, there is only one way to go – UP! These plucky,      pert, minxes pick themselves up, dust themselves off, head into battle, and conquer both their lives and the most unlikely heroes. As readers, we believe every step of their paths. We cheer as they rebuild their lives and themselves into the women they were meant to be.
  • When these pert and saucy underdogs conquer obstacle after obstacle, we believe we can do the same in our own lives. If they can come back from “there”  (whatever major fix or disappointment they must overcome) so can we!

Though well past the plucky years, I like to think that Joy Waltham, formerly Mrs. Paul Donovan, from TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT, is a spunky heroine.  After all, aren’t character traits more a state of mind and attitude than age?  By the way, she’s only forty-five. I realize, depending on which sides of forty-five you’re on, that can be a mere babe in arms or a dried up old hag.  But in the continuum of life, 45 is pretty much smack in the middle.

I think Sandra Bullock would make a fantastic Joy Waltham!

Who is a favorite spunky heroine in a book or a movie?  What did you like about her?

Until Next week, make it a great one,


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2 Responses to Make Mine Spunky! by Lynne Marshall

  1. Robena Grant says:

    Yep, I love the spunky heroine too, and I agree that SEP writes them best. I always think of Goldie Hawn in the movie, Overboard, she was a great spunky heroine once she got over being spoiled and rich. : )

  2. Hi Robena –
    Goldie Hawn in Overboard is a great example of a spunky heroine. I loved that movie, as corny as it was in some parts.

    Thanks for commenting.