Lutefisk And Heroines – 5 Tips To Create A Likable Heroine

Lutefisk is one of those uniquely awful ethic dishes. Just ask my husband… yes, wasabi payback…priceless. To understand how a Norwegian such as myself could despise lutefisk so much, let’s take a look at how it is made.

First, you soak the stockfish in cold water for 5-6 days. Then soak it in a cold water and lye solution for two more days. This will cause the fish to swell and produce a jelly-like consistency. Then soak it in cold water an additional 4-6 before cooking.

My stomach roles just to think about a fish being jelly-like in texture and soaked in lye. Eww! Maybe the consumption of Lutefisk is what makes all of those Ole and Sven jokes so believable. Who else would be crazy enough to eat lutefisk.

Lots of times writers have lutefisk type heroines. You know, watered down and warped by their environment. Truth is, some heroines really annoy me with their passive and dramatic personality.

The world does not end when you break a nail and making a concise decision is not your enemy. Sheesh. Sometimes we really need to shake our characters. We can’t let them be passive. Those aren’t the kind of characters our readers want to be like.

5 Tips To Create A Likable Heroine:

*Make them competent. We all want to be competent in our lives. We want to be successful and have a well sought after skill. Our Heroines competence is what draws us to them.

*Make them resilient. Characters who stand up for what’s right and don’t give up when things get tough earn our admiration. Their ability to keep struggling to reach the prize inspires us.

*Make them empathetic. Put your heroines in situations where we can relate to them and feel sorry for what they are facing. We must care about their cause or goal in the book. It should play on our heartstrings.

*Make them vulnerable. If our heroine seems like a stone person with super human powers then it becomes more difficult to cheer them on. We like the underdogs, the ones who have to fight huge odds, the ones who are vulnerable but still fight no matter what it costs them.

*Make them Courageous. A heroine with courage makes us want to be just like them. To fight the battles we long to fight. To stand strong in the face of challenge is an inspiration. It also shows readers that they too can be courageous.

A Few Of My Favorite Heroines Can Be Found In:

Dee Henderson’s Negotiator

Janet Oke’s Love Comes Softly

Julie Klassen’s The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

(For more tips on characters go to My Book Therapy and search available articles.)

What ethnic food do you think should be banned? (Lutefisk is my vote)



About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

5 thoughts on “Lutefisk And Heroines – 5 Tips To Create A Likable Heroine

  1. jeannemt says:

    I always wondered how you got back for the wasabi incident. Sounds like you fought food with food. 🙂 Thanks for your tips on making our heroines strong yet likeable. It’s a fine art, I think. I especially appreciate how you described making them empathetic.

    For foods that should be banned, I’m thinking menudo (cow stomach lining soup–I believe) would be near the top of my list. In saying this, I’m a bit like a book reviewer who writes a review without first reading the book. I haven’t tried it, but that’s mostly because thought of eating it turns my stomach. 🙂

  2. Michelle Lim says:

    Wow…eww. I’m with you on the cow stomach lining soup!

  3. Lutefisk. Definitely Lutefisk. And I thought chittlin’s sounded horrible. And cow lining soup? eww. Now, I have eaten tripe, which is beef stomach lining, but it’s fried–anything is edible in the South as long as it’s fried. World of difference. And actually pretty good.

  4. […] tips will help you identify what makes a star cast in your genre. There are also some hard and fast character rules like building empathy, making them heroic or as James Scott Bell says, “Pet the cat,” […]

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