The Art of Seduction; THE FEMME FATALE

Having an array of characters makes each story unique and fun. Today, I want to dive into a foxy lady we all love to hate, the one who almost always gets her way: the femme fatale.

Before we dive into the deadly one, we first have to talk about where she stems from: a seductress. Describing a seductress is one thing because beauty is subjective. As the saying goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” So, how can you make your lovely lady appealing to the masses outside of her looks? It’s the obvious!

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Make her free-spirited. This is important to her. She is care-free, curious about the world around her and open to those people surrounding her. This is what keeps her interesting. She comes off naive. Those who grow to be fond of her only want to show her the “right way.” This lady will always have some form of charm she uses to get people looking her way, or looking twice. This is a must. Ask yourself: does she have any intention with her ways? This is a great time to sit back and map out what made her this way and to make the plan of what you are going to do with her in your story.


One thing is for sure; she will want to be in the spotlight. Maybe not celebrity-status, but you can certainly do that if you want. Ultimately, she wants to be the center of attention – she wants everyone to turn their head when she enters a room. If she isn’t, she will certainly make it known she has entered the building. By the end of the scene, everyone will be quiet and staring and if they aren’t, there will be consequences. But, we are dipping into other territory there. The seductress isn’t harming anyone else in any way; she is simply hoping for something or someone to come into her life. So, once again we ask: what is her intention? What is her purpose?

The art of seduction comes with, in some way, the purpose of love. Or lack thereof. She could easily find it with her looks and charisma but your seductress is living a life, going 100 miles per hour for the sole purpose of finding The One. The catch is…even if she finds a suitable mate, that person would never be enough. And she will start all over again. Stability is not in her name; not just in love, but in life. Sometimes, it’s not about the person. It’s about the journey and, once again, the art of seduction.


When people think of seduction, the first thing that comes to mind is sex. Don’t get too caught up in the seductress’ sexual habits or even her sexuality itself. It isn’t the point of her character, it’s a part of her. She is more than who she does and does not allow in the bedroom. It shouldn’t be highlighted how many she’s allowed into her open arms; it should be brought to the readers’ attention why she does so. She doesn’t see anything wrong with her sexual appetite so neither should you. And sometimes, her sexuality has nothing to do with the storyline so cut it out of the picture.

If her sexual nature is a part of the storyline or a part of her character, her relationships and friendships with other heterosexual women could be strained. The seductress finds it hard to have platonic male friends, so she strives to have female companionship. However, this could be tough for her. She may not be able to secure these friendships because of her nature with men, and potential partners for those in which she wishes to surround herself with. The threat is there for those other women and they may try to cast her out. Though, this may not be the case for all and she could find a few who will understand her and try to nurture her. She will not get along with those similar to her in the way of seduction…mainly because they’re after the same thing in the same manner. Posing another threat.


Now, let’s get down to the point as to why you’re here: the femme fatale. The seductress is a great starting point for this character, but you will need to take this a step further. She is not only a seductress, but more so a seductress bathed in darkness. She is a user, potentially a black widow; she is out for blood and uses her charm and her looks to her advantage. She utilizes the “good” parts of the naive and carefree seductress and twists into a game that could end badly. Her backstory should be tragic, giving reason for her way of being and why she wants to end the trapped fly.

Literature holds some of the greatest and slyest women in the femme fatale archetype. Norma Bates from Psycho, Amy Dunne from Gone Girl, Gloria Denton from Queenpin, and Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass are all great examples of this particular archetype.

Do you have any characters who come to mind who fall into this category? We would love to hear!

Marketing on Goodreads

I am sure most writers, readers, and authors alike are aware of the Goodreads universe. An endless summer reading list is just waiting to be created. But, do you know how to properly use your account as an author, especially to market yourself? 

Goodreads is a perfect platform for authors to engage with readers and fans, and here is how you can make the most of it!

Make sure you are on the Goodreads Author Program.

This will allow you to gain access to special marketing tools to promote your books and interact with readers. Read more about this program here

Customize your bio.

Your bio is the first thing a reader sees when going to your page. It is your job to make sure you put the best information out there. Make sure your profile picture is clear, give a good description of yourself, and attach your other socials so they can follow you! Goodreads gives some of their own very helpful tips here.

Share your love of reading.

Don’t forget this website was created so people could share their love for reading, so make sure you do the same! Write your own reviews and add books to your “Want to Read” list. You can also shelve books that have inspired your own writing, or you can customize your own shelves.

Create Kindle notes and Highlights.

Goodreads has a special opportunity to allow annotators to provide thoughts and insights on books. This is a great way for authors to engage deeper with their readers and let them in on why you chose a specific word, or go deeper into what a character is thinking. The opportunities are endless, and everyone loves an exact background story. https://f.gr-assets.com/misc/1564523884-1564523884_goodreads_misc.pdf

Turn on the “Ask the Author” feature.

 Allowing readers to ask questions specifically to the author is great for engagement. The questions will not be visible until the author answers. However, by posting a few standard questions allows readers to see them when they reach your page. Learn more about this feature here. 

Goodreads is a great platform for authors to connect to a specific community of readers. Don’t forget the power of communication!

Submit Your Work Today at Hershman Rights Management!

We are Hershman Rights Management, a literary agency where we help authors and publishers break into new markets and expand into new platforms. If you are an author (either indie or traditionally published) or a writer who is looking to get started, visit our website and we can help you grow!

If you are an already published author and looking for representation for subsidiary rights, click here. You can receive an instant representation offer! If you are an unpublished author or looking for representation on an unpublished manuscript, please click here and tell us more about yourself and your work. 

We work with you to help reach your literary goals!

Happy Writing!

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