Characteristics of a Kick-Ass Heroine Archetype

Kick ass heroinesWednesdays I devote the blog conversation to what I love about my genre, fantasy, and what I though y’all love about it, too.

In normal everyday life, I don’t know about you, but I have to be polite. (Okay I don’t have to… but I am) I can’t go around punching or kicking folks. I’m not five, anymore. Actually, I wasn’t that kind of kid, where any of the adults could see me. But I was a bully. Is that why I love bad-ass or kick-ass heroines? I don’t know. Actually I think it’s my nature to be a warrior, but there isn’t enough women warrior archetypes in my life, so I wrote about one! Yep, she’s Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, and she’s at any fine ebook retailer of your choice.

I wrote an earlier post on the kick-ass heroines I’ve seen in media, Bad Girl Archetype. There are not enough Kick-Ass Heroines in my opinion when you compare to all the men who have these roles — so today I’ve decided to compile a list of the characteristics of a kick-ass heroine archetype. I’m really curious what you think.

Characteristics of a Kick-Ass Heroine Archetype

  • Fierceness
  • Persistence
  • Fighting skills with or without weapons
  • Doesn’t listen to elders
  • Determined
  • Leadership
  • Strong
  • Flexible
  • Probably experience some form of tragedy earlier in their life
  • Doesn’t take orders from others well
  • Wants to be in charge
  • Tends to be a loner
  • Doesn’t suffer fools gladly

What do you guys think? What did I leave out from this list? What would you add? Thanks!


Beth Barany writes young adult fantasy novels to empower girls and women to be the hero of their own lives. More at her author site here.

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  • I asked my twin (almost 10 year old) girls and this is what they said:
    She should be brave, have lots of weapons, have lost of secrets, be smart, eager to save people. She should have companions, and be cool with good hair.

  • Beth Barany says:

    Thanks Carla!

    Amanda, I love it! Thanks so much for sharing your twin girls’ feedback. So excellent!

  • Fiona Druce says:

    When I was in the Army, I got to see a lot of other females surrounded in a Type-A male world. and I think the thing that separated the “chip on their shoulder” hardcore females from the “truly awesome leader” hardcore females was the ability to smile, joke with the guys and the gals. And the realization that they had faults and they couldn’t change all of them; they had to have the ability to work WITH those faults. Made them down-to-earth, too, which an idol always should be if at all possible, lol.

  • Beth Barany says:

    Fiona, Thanks! So insightful! I can so see the kind of “truly awesome leader” you’re talking about. Yes, the down-to-earth quality is so important. lol.

  • Stella K says:


    I think you’ve left out ‘cunning’ but you sure got everything else right. I love kick-ass women. I think I am one too. Check out my blog to verify if you’d like and tell me what you think.

    I’ll be reading more of your writing, that’s for sure!

  • Beth Barany says:

    Stella, Yes, cunning! Good one! I will check out your blog and tell you what I think. Thanks for reading more of my writing! Henrietta The Dragon Slayer is my new YA fantasy.

  • Mary M Van Everbroeck says:

    Great Post! I’d add two: She cares about others, more than herself. The Kick-Ass Heroine dismisses the consequences that her actions could have on her.

  • Beth Barany says:

    I love those characteristics! Thanks, Mary!

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