Back in the day…like Jane Austen’s day…women rarely had to worry about earning money. Oh, sure, they were tutors, governesses, cooks and such in major households, but those were pretty much the limits to a female’s job expectations other than as a prostitute, mistress, or some other such unsavory occupation.
If you’re book is an historical, a Regency era tome, or set anywhere before or in the 19th century, your heroine is limited in what she can do to earn her keep.
Not so much anymore, thankfully.
Your girl can do anything nowadays. I’ve read books where the heroine is a jockey, an astrophysicist, a newspaper owner, a racecar driver, a spy, a pilot…the list goes on. We are not limited to giving our fictional girls fabulous, exciting jobs, just like they are not limited in real life to having the job of their dreams.
In a former life I was a nurse. I know nursing. I walk the walk, talk the talk. None of my heroine’s have been a nurse. I’ve had a doctor, a concert pianist, an artist, an Olympic figure skater, a professional chef, a photographer, and a television producer, just to name a few. But no nurses.
Well, I’ll tell you. I could write about a nurse, sure. It would be an accurate depiction of the job. I have the background to make it a realistic depiction and wouldn’t have to do any “research” into the role. But I wouldn’t want to write a nurse as a heroine because it’s too close to home, namely, to me. For anyone who knows me who would read the book, I would consistently wonder if they were equating the character with me. Plus, if I had to write a love scene with my heroine…forget it…don’t even want to go there!
I’d much rather give my girls fabulous jobs that I have to research, and by research, I mean actually DO them. I’d love to be a racecar driver. Not so sure my hubby would like the idea of me driving at 100+ miles per hour – oh, wait. I do that already! Being a pilot would be cool, don’t you think? And I would love to be a professional chef with my own tv show. How about the owner of a tech company? You’d need to be really smart and computer savvy for that one.
There are so many options for occupations for our heroine’s these days. The list is almost limit-less, something, as a writer, I am thrilled about.
I’m also thrilled because I’m the mom of a girl and I just love the fact she has options galore and can do anything she wants to do for an occupation.
So. What are some of the jobs your heroines have, or you would like them to have?