I was feeling frozen in terms of not having an idea yet. Then I started thinking about a fat heroine. I tend towards writing YA fantasy fiction, so this would be a fat adolescent girl in a Medieval/Renaissance type fantasy world. I still struggle with imagining what a fat heroine would look like. After all, she's not going to be the same as a thin heroine, like all the role models in the genre. I started to think about not just what would she be good at, but what would she be BETTER at because she's fat?
Here's my list so far:
- Strength - we fatties are stronger than people think, because we are working with resistance from the moment we jump out of bed.
- Swimming - natural buoyancy, anyone?
- Compassion for the underdog - I really feel my 'outcast' status as a fatty and the torment and abuse I've taken because of it has made me more compassionate to all different types of diversity and inclusion and things that cause people to get treated poorly (from culture and ethnicity to less-discussed ones like fatness itself, height, disability, etc.). My heroine is likely the same way. Maybe she finds her friends in unlikely places because she can see through the thing they get rejected for and see the whole person.
- Horseback riding - not necessarily good at this specifically because she's fat, but what if because she's fat she fell in love with horseback riding, because the horse was the great equalizer? On a horse, she could run as fast, jump as high as all her friends and siblings, and not feel athletically at a disadvantage. And so she spent tons of time on her horse and grew to really love it.
- Surviving in the cold / surviving in harsh winters, lack of food, etc. - let's face it, she has more insulation and more stores of energy if there's a famine.