College of Arts and Sciences


Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing


James Latta


writing, female characters, characterization, writing women, female, female main characters


Creative Writing | English Language and Literature


The strong female character is a term tossed around writing groups, book clubs, and TikTok as something to both strive to see and critique in literature. This research paper transformed throughout the actual research as it went from a study on cozy fantasy emergence and its effects to strong female characters and how to write them well, to its current iteration along similar lines of writing strong female characters. Qualitative and quantitative data was gathered through the use of a survey that I wrote and put to the field, research done primarily through JSTOR, and interviews conducted with experts in the field of literature. The survey asked people about their knowledge of main character girl tropes and who they viewed as strong female characters. The interviews were conducted with leaders in cozy fantasy currently, Travis Baldree and Rebecca Thorne. The interviews were conducted with leaders in the cozy fantasy genre, Travis Baldree and Rebecca Thorne, popular TikToker Meagan Hood, and a local librarian, Erin Hughes. All helped clarify views on what the landscape of fantasy is looking like for female main characters. The basis for this research was that strong female characters are an archetype that is still overwhelmingly popular in fiction that traditionally does not hold nuance or lasting nature.