What exactly makes a female lead stand out for you?

 

I am in the process of typing up a review for a book I have recently read where I found the female lead to be extremely well portrayed and written, and it got me thinking. As a female I find that many strong females in fiction are portrayed in ways that are rather cliche or stereotypical and I'm curious to know your views.

 

What exactly makes a female lead stand out for you?

 

How would your ideal strong female character be portrayed?

 

What are the cliches or stereotypes that you see being used?

 

How overused do you find these stereotypes and cliches?