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Writing Strong Female Characters

She was a strong woman. But strength comes from pain. Not all scars are worn on the skin. Her husband decides to migrate west during the furious grip that held most Americans. They were well-off. Her hands are soft, face without blemish, white teeth, eyes dancing. Her clothes are fashionable, her home modest, her servants happy. Her bright gaze takes in the world with a sympathetic charm that belied her innocence. She agrees to the move for reasons she can no longer remember. That was 1870.

Dismounting the horse on that first night, her dress tears on the saddle horn and rips the skirt in half. The entire entourage on the wagon train laughs. When she sits by the campfire, the wind catches the fabric and throws it into the fire and her dress bursts into flames. Humiliation from men’s hands putting out the fire and despair at her devastated dress linger. She promised not to wear a homespun dress purchased on the trail, but here she is, days later, with a colorless outfit, a bonnet protecting her sunburned and wind-chapped face. Every second she feels her beauty forever slipping away to the empty plains.

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