How to write Badass Babes


Male and female readers alike, love a kickass babe. Women associate with them, feel empowered by them, men are attracted to them.

In my Blogovella; Into the Firelands, I have a number of badass babes and love everyone of them. So, I thought I’d quickly run through a character study, of my two leading ladies, in the hope you can take away some ideas when developing kickass characters.

Character Study: Melisande Flamestouch

Flamestouch, one of the protagonists in Into the Firelands, and was written for the sole purpose of adding a really kickass woman to my [ever growing] list of characters. Melisande started out as a regular village girl, but after a cheeky night out she wound up imprisoned. This changed her goals in life, as well as her personality. There are a few elements that I believe make her appear confident and strong… Oh yeah, and she is “watched by the fire god Unos” and can use magic!

Confidence in self: Melisande’s mind is always going. She is calculating, but not villainous. Her thoughts are well organised, and she has a strong moral compass.

D.I.Y. Attitude: Flamestouch is pretty punk-rock in this respect. If she can do something herself, she will. She doesn’t try to manipulate people, and bend them to her will. She doesn’t need too.

Adaptive: Melisande is petite. Barely 5’5”, and weighing sixyt kilos and she is a mercenary – a scene populated mostly big men – so has taken on different fighting styles. When she engages in battle she always has to think of how she will out-smart and out-perform her attacker, because unless her assailant is very small (which does happen), she can’t win on strength alone.

Character Study: Lorena

Lorena is Melisande’s bodyguard and companion. They met during the story Whoremonger of Havenby and have been at each other’s side ever since. She is very different to Melisande, in a lot of respects, but still has strength.

Hard Lady: The best way to describe Lorena really is hard. She talks bluntly and orders people around. She is, to most, a little less endearing than Flamestouch because of this, but it makes her strong.

Swords-woman: Unlike Melisande, who has magic on her side, Lorena is left with only her wits and skill with a blade to handle combat. She is skillful, as she lacks the blunt strength of men.

Sexy: Lorena started her life adult life as a Slave Whore of Havenby, and so, she is very comfortable with sex and men. She takes delight in tormenting the men she is surrounded by, because she flirts outrageously, but has a short fuse and prone to killing people who rub her the wrong way (that was not a pun).

These are the two characters that inspired this article. What do you think? How do you feel about tough female characters in fiction?

Thanks for reading,


12 thoughts on “How to write Badass Babes”

      1. With the charas of that role play, many I have selected people to represent them. The Ayalah stories feature the face of Anna Chapman, who is a real life spy. I do it for fun, mainly.

          1. Highly likely. All I know is when she posed for Maxim, the shots fitted in beautifully with my stories for her. I did a series for her about a sting operation she did. She is a real bitch. You can find the shorts under Agent Ayalah Romach. ❤

  1. Great post – I don’t tend to write character sheets ahead of time, but let the characters tell me about themselves during the writing phase. Right now, having done the first edit of my novel, I have a whole load of notes on each character, who I’m now looking forward to fleshing out with some back story (which may or may not make it into the book). It’s good to know who your friends and foes are!

    1. Yeah, when you’re writing a novel you really need to keep track of it somehow. Personally I don’t like writing character sheets before I’ve written about them. 1) because I want the character to develop with the story and 2) If I write everything about him/her in a character sheet I run the risk of forgetting to say it in the actual story.

      What the I know vs. what the reader knows is one of the main reasons I struggle to plan stories.

      Speaking of which, I was lurking on your blog the other day and I loved All of These Things. Do you mind if I ask what your novel is about?

      1. Argh! Just deleted my reply to you!

        Thank you for the positive response to All of These Things – it’s great to get good feedback!

        My novel is set in the world of three tribes who are currently not getting on. Tribe A is the current oppressor of Tribes B & C and are becoming more and more unpleasant as time passes – things are becoming unbearable. There is rebellion, resistance and insurgency. The leaders of Tribe A believe they are on the cusp of ultimate domination, but are not aware that a fourth tribe,Tribe X, is planning to destroy all of the tribes and take the lands and resources for their own through a classic divide and conquer strategy, which they have managed to put into play through infiltration. Do Tribe X get their way? Does Tribe A learn a lesson? Do Tribes B&C save the day? Lots of questions to answer….

        1. Oh nooo! Haha, it happens. When I responded to you originally I did the same (after only two sentences though) and couldn’t get it back to I moved to word to write it.

          Do you know the answers to those questions yet?:P. Sounds like it could be post apocalyptic, is it? Or is it like stone age stuff? Either way; awesome. Are you planning to approach publishers or release it as an indie-author?

          1. Aha! Yes, I do know the answer to those questions, although since writing for me is sometimes like herding cats, the answers I have now may change in the future! As for when it’s set – since it is in another realm, the timing is neither! However, there are no cars or planes, so…. I’d like to go the publisher route, but we’ll see..

  2. I’ve always found that the best tough female characters are ones who just so happen to be female, so to speak. This is one of the (many, many) reasons why Metroid Prime worked for me and Metroid: Other M didn’t.

    When planning out my upcoming novel project, I decided to go with very detailed character sheets (going so far as to plan out everyone’s development in advance) as well as very detailed plans in general; this was quite a departure from how I’ve tried to do things previously. I’ve got a female protagonist who has begun to develop into a badass by the end of the story, but she certainly doesn’t start that way; in fact, it’s largely her own stupidity that gets the plot started.

    1. Yeah, I had a long discussion a forum about defining femininity in tough female characters. So essentially, what defines a woman if her words and action are identical to a mans. Nearly an impossible question to answer.

      That sort of method worked out really well for Tolkien, unfortunately it’s not something I have the capacity to do. Unless I’m mistaken you’re a scientist so perhaps you have a more logical brain than me. By planning the novel in advance you’ll have to be really committed to grinding it out, and getting the work done. If you can do that, then you’ll wind up with quite a refined rough draft which will be awesome when it comes to editing.

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