The Battle of the Two Heroines

Thanks again to everyone who voted or commented on my Lily/Marsha dilemma. I loved reading all the comments and was interested to see people’s reasons for their choice.

Obviously, Marsha won by a mile – but I was pleased that Lily had a ‘select’ band of supporters, as I am very attached to her as a character. Her short story might not work completely as it stands, but I will keep pursuing it. Her character and situation already existed very clearly in my head when I started writing the story. In the first paragraph, I was trying to hint at those things – that’s why I particularly like the comment about Lily providing ‘a good companion to be my eyes and ears’ and the recognition of the hook of the absent mother at the end of the paragraph.

However, there was what someone called a ‘tsunami of opinion’ in favour of Marsha, which made the exercise  fascinating for me as a writer. I am much hazier in my mind about Marsha as a character. She’s becoming clearer even since I posted the opening, but when I wrote it, it was with the sole purpose of hooking the reader. I confess I didn’t invest much time or crafting of the writing into it, but simply tried to set up an opening.

If Marsha is going to be one of my main characters, I need to understand her much more than I do at the moment. Perhaps I should introduce her to Lily and see how they get on! I wonder if they could be friends.


Categorised in: ,


  1. Becky says:

    How very interesting indeed that you feel like that about the two characters…..the one person you feel less informed about/close to was the one that got all the votes. Perhaps there was somethign edgier about your writing or your own feelings came across just because of that very uncertainty. Hmm…food for thought.

    Thanks Cheers Becky Gethin

  2. Lynne Powell says:

    Ho ho – oh do let them meet. That would be fascinating!

  3. Lindsay says:

    Yes, isn’t it interesting? Haven’t fathomed out quite why, but definitely something to think about. Another thing I found interesting is that the people who voted for Lily tended to write more detailed comments than the Marsha ones. Again, don’t know what it means but fascinating all the same!

  4. Lindsay says:

    I like them both, so hope they would like each other!

  5. Mo Hall says:

    I like the idea of using both Lily and Marsha as characters in a novel. I have to confess that, although I voted for Marsha, I like Lily very much as well, and would be really interested to find out what happens to her. Any mileage in dove-tailing the two ideas together do you think?

  6. Lindsay says:

    Thanks, Mo – you’ve put the cat among the pigeons! I suggested having them both in a novel in a lighthearted way way, but you’ve made me think. Lily would fit very well with the character I’m planning as the main male point of view, but she would be instead of Marsha rather than as well as. My half-formulated plan for Marsha is challenging and elusive at the moment, but that opening got the votes. Decisions! Decisions!

  7. Perhaps they could be … sisters? With their different styles sparkes could possibly fly? On the other hand, why not go with two completely different novels? Always good to have one on the go and t’other ‘cooking’ 🙂

  8. Lindsay says:

    Nice idea, but they have completely different backgrounds, so I think it’s two different novels. Lily is a short story at the moment, so I’ll either work on that, or think of her interms of another novel. And I have recently finished a story about two sisters called The Magpie and the Wagtail!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *