Female Fighters as Characters

In last week’s post, I talked about female action heroes…

In my novel, Dryad, the main character, Solena, is a female who learns to fight and stand up for herself when she had been unable to in the past. Sometimes the fights are physical martial arts fights, but sometimes they take place within herself. These internal fights are what gives the character depth, and they lend an extra layer of drama to the physical action.

This is a tapir.

This is a tapir.

Perhaps most importantly, the depiction of women fighting should not merely be used as a token, but rather a reflection of character. In this scene, the billionaire Rodney Love has been transformed into an anthropomorphic tapir. Rodney is Solena’s sort-of-ex-boyfriend, and although she is still angry with him and not sure about what exactly her feelings are, she does not hesitate to come to his aid:

Solena was about to make a run for it and pursue the escaping lumberjack tapirs, but something stopped her. She realized there was one human-tapir missing. She wasn’t sure how Anastacio seemed to know them from the real ones, and there wasn’t much time for a magic spell.

“Anastacio, where’s Rodney?” she cried.

The dryad was engaged in wrestling a spear away from a hunter-tapir. At length, he pushed his foe aside and pointed to a raging tapir, careening about the hall, completely mad with bloodlust.

Solena was stunned for a moment. But she quickly gathered herself. It was no time to be indecisive. She leapt on top of the table and ran towards Rodney, who was lambasting two hunter-tapirs.

“Rodney! Rodney, snap out of it. We’ve got to go!” she yelled.

He seemed not to hear and paid absolutely no attention.

She dove from the table and tackled tapir-Rodney, knocking him to the ground. She hadn’t been sure it would work, as the tapir was in a whole other weight category, but her flying tackle was enough to knock him off his feet. She rolled away, and saw that he regained his footing and still paid no attention to her: the real tapirs were closing in on him.

She could see out of the corner of her eye Anastacio and Sir Lancelot trying to break through the mass of tapirs to reach her. The tapirs were like a living sea of grey, bulging animal flesh. Anastacio’s dryad strength made his attempts more successful, while Sir Lancelot, whose strength was incredible for a human, was failing to contend with such massive beasts. She saw a glimpse of him being knocked down by two of the charging animals, then she became too preoccupied as another spear-wielding tapir advanced on her.

She backed away slowly, trying to think of a strategy but not finding any weapon close at hand to counter the spear.

Rodney broke through the ring of his attackers at that very moment and his momentum was so great that he slammed into the spear-wielding tapir, jarring him for a split second. Solena lunged forward and seized the spear, twisting it out of the creature’s hand.

Now Solena advanced more confidently, trying to reach Rodney once again, poking at tapirs that got too close with the dull end of the spear. She approached him just as he leapt onto the table, threatening the tapir king himself. Solena sprinted over and jabbed Rodney in the ribs with the blunt end of the spear. Tapir Rodney spun around to face her, and she held her breath.

He was either going to attack her in a fit of rage or…

He froze for a moment, and she thought she saw the light of recognition in his eyes.

“Time to blow this joint,” she yelled, pointing to the exit.

Tapir Rodney nodded. With one of his hind legs, he flicked a dish at the king’s head, then leapt off the table and charged towards the exit, Solena close behind him.

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt! If you like humorous satire and adventure, you can purchase a copy of Dryad on Amazon, Smashwords, or

A tale of adventure, time travel and romance, my novel Dryad is available as an e-book. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

Click here to purchase Dryad on Amazon.

Click here to purchase Dryad on Smashwords.

Click here to purchase Dryad on Barnes & Noble.

Click here to purchase Dryad on KOBO.

Click here to purchase Dryad on iTunes.

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