Girls want to read books about girls like themselves. So why do all the agents say they want stories with a strong female protagonist? I understand from a plotting point of view that a girl who's making decisions and going places is much more interesting to read about. But then I think of Bella. Why was she so effective? First she was coupled with a vampire. Let's face it, Edward is the star of the show, right? But Meyer does something interesting, whether intentional or not--Bella is every girl. Who hasn't felt stupid, clutzy, even the cheerleaders. (See True Story below.) It's like the reader morphs into Bella, she disappears. We are living the story.
True Story: I sat next to a girl in high school in one of my classes. She was toned, she was tanned, she was, in a word, H-O-T. Ok, that was three letters. Her hair was high lighted, her nails were done. I never saw her wear the same thing twice. Plus, she hung out with all the popular crowd aka "Jock Hall." K, now you know what type of girl she is, crowned Prom Royalty and all that. Zoom forward ten or so years. My sister runs into her at a church function. My sister remembers her (that's what sets the popular from the unpopular, the unpopular are not memorable.) Of course she doesn't remember my sister because we only went to that high school for two years--a small blip in the high school yearbook. So, my sister asks her if she remembers me. (I sat next to her remember? I think we shared papers once!) Not that we're self-absorbed, but I'd like to think we're memorable. Ok, long story even longer, when she says no, she didn't didn't remember us, my sister humbly responds that we were sort of nerds (therefore unmemorable) and here's the kicker! This tanned beauty queen says, "Oh, so was I!"
WHAAAAAAAAA? I'm telling you folks, she was not a nerd. My point is, we all feel like nerds in high school!
So back to Bella. If we all feel like nerds shouldn't agents be looking for "relatable" female protagonists ie ones that feel nerdy? Maybe people would buy more books? Or maybe it's just the vampires.