Femme Fatale: The Secrets Behind A Dangerous Woman

Hello writer bees!

Today, I’m breaking down the iconic femme fatale. Here’s everything you need to know about the dangerous women of mystery fiction and film noir.

What is a Femme Fatale?

A French term meaning ‘fatal woman’, a Femme Fatale is a promiscuous, mysterious female archetype. This seductress is sexy and she knows it, bending others to her will with her charm and beauty. Oftentimes, her story line concludes with her demise, whether by imprisonment or death.

Key Characteristics of a Dangerous Woman

As a character trope, there are some trademark characteristics a femme fatale has. Here are just a few.

  • She is street smart and vastly intelligent. Her observation skills can read anyone like a book.
  • Driven by power, independence, or wealth. Will manipulate, and probably murder, anyone to get what she wants.
  • A queen of fashion. Bold lipstick. Dramatic makeup and hair. Light colored clothing that gradually shifts to darker clothing. She makes a statement when she enters the room.
  • She uses “feminine wiles” to her advantage. When she is in a relationship with someone or sleeps with them, there’s usually an ulterior motive. Always looks after their own self interest.

Detectives and Femme Fatales

The relationship between a hard boiled detective and a femme fatale is an interesting dynamic. While the hero seeks justices in his cases, they end up trapped in the spider’s wed. At times, they share a tumultuous romance, full of conflict and passion, eventually ending in turmoil. Will the detective turn her in to law enforcement? Or will the dangerous dame corrupt the hero?

Femme Fatale’s in Literature

Want to see a man-eater in action? Check out these

  • Brigid O’Shaughnessy – The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  • Cora Papadakis – The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
  • Carmen Sternwood – The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

Final Thoughts on Femme Fatales

Am I telling you to shove a cookie cutter version of this architype in your work? Not exactly. If you create a perfect copy of the traditional femme fatale, she may come off as stale and unrealistic, readers won’t be interested in her or the overall story.

Writers are meant to reinvent overdone tropes sometimes. Let aspects of a femme fatale inspire your own complex characters. The world could use more bold, fierce female characters, right?


Who are your favorite femme fatales? Let me know in the comments.

Stay safe out there, writer bees!

– Lady Jabberwocky

Camp NaNoWriMo: Progress is Progress (Week 4 Update)

Hello Writer Bees!

We are coming on the last few days of Camp NaNoWriMo. Hope you all have had a productive time while at camp.

Overall, it was a great experience. Made some serious progress on editing my mystery WIP. I can finally start to see the light at the end of this dark, editing tunnel. Starting to feel like this project will be finished soon. Also, It was lovely connecting with the writing community during Camp NaNoWriMo. Especially during that virtual write-in last week. Hearing everyone talk about their projects and word counts was awesome and inspiring. I’ll be on the lookout for other NaNoWriMo events throughout the year.

During this crazy month, I learned something about the editing process. In editing, you will find tangles. Bits of story that don’t make sense, aren’t working as planned. Fixing them can feel like you are unraveling a knot. For me, I was so fixated on iron out some scenes, I didn’t realize I was making things more complicated that they needed to be. Perfectionist bug? Maybe. Or maybe It’s a pick and choose your battles kind of thing. If you’ve ever felt the same way, ask yourself this. Does this little detail you are fussing over have a significant impact on the story? What is this part’s purpose? When in doubt, take a step back and look at the whole plot. Doing so can bring some clarity to the writing process.

Thank you all for joining me on my Camp NaNoWriMo adventure. Your kind words and support mean the world to me. As a reminder, next month is May of Mystery, when all prompts and post celebrate detective fiction. I’ll be sharing my favorite mystery themed posts from previous years with you. Get ready amateur sleuths, there’s mystery afoot!


How was your Camp NaNoWriMo experience? What progress, big or small, have you made on your creative endeavors? Talk to me in the comments. As always, I love hearing from you.

Write with Heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

Camp NaNoWriMo: Virtual Write-In + WIP Research (Week 3 Update)

Hello Writer bees!

Hope you and your creative endeavors are doing well. Welcome to week three of Camp NaNoWriMo!

I’ve been burning the candle at both ends lately, so I was looking forward to an upcoming break. Despite a hectic week at my real job, I’ve scheduled some time off this week to write and to relax. Mental health day from work turned into an all-day editing extravaganza. Made a lot of progress on my editing to-do list. Honestly, feeling a little proud of myself. It’s refreshing to spend a day doing what you love, an excellent way to recharge the spirits.

Random sidenote: Anyone else feel like their search history is questionable when writing? If so, you’ll find this funny. Something hilarious happened a few days ago. My partner, Michael, has always been my biggest supporter. Even though he’s not a writer, he likes to check in and offer encouragement. The other day, he asked how editing was going and what I was working on. My answer? “Oh, I researched how to clean blood stains from a crime scene.” The strange search history of a mystery writer. Guess that’s part of writing a murder mystery, things can get dark.

Also, last night, I participated in a write-in event for Camp NaNoWriMo, hosted by Kelley Tai. That was so much fun! I didn’t realize how much I missed hanging out with other writers. We all talked about our current projects and did writing sprints and prompts together. And guide Kelley was a delight. Would definitely join another write-in for NaNoWriMo in the future. Highly recommend joining a write-in if you are feeling stuck in your writing or if want to interact with other writers. The writing community is truly amazing, I’m lucky to a part of it.

That’s my update for week three of Camp NaNoWriMo. Sorry for the short update. It’s been a busy week, but I’ve made serious headway with my WIP. Let’s see if I can keep this ball rolling!


What’s the strangest thing you’ve search for fiction writing purposes? Let me know in the comments!

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

Camp NaNoWriMo: Renaming Characters + Writer Breaks (Week 2 Update)

Hello Writer bees!

Hope you all are staying well and staying creative.

It’s been a rough couple of days for me. Remember how in my last Camp NaNoWriMo update, I told you I’m working on keeping a more positive mindset? Maybe I jinxed myself. Maybe the universe heard me, and thought, ‘let’s throw some hardballs.’ Life stress plus work stress equals one stressed lady! Writing this post has been one of my few fleeting breathers this week.  

But, writing and editing my WIP still need to be done. So, I carry on, as best I can. Take breaks when I can. Overwhelmed and overload, I stopped and made myself some fried rice in my cozy sweatpants. My preferred method of decompressing. After that break, I went back to tackling the big editing giant that is my mystery WIP. Breaks are important. Even just taking a rest, or cooking a meal, or watching a movie can do wonders for your mental health. Don’t forget to take care of yourselves, writer bees.

In other news, changes to my characters are happening this week. What’s a sure sign of writer insanity? Naming and renaming characters. Yes, I’ve fallen into that trap, constantly scrolling through first and last names. I can’t help it. I’ve been meaning to change two of my characters names for a while. Embarrassing enough, but one of the suspects has had a temporary last name for years. Yikes. So, I took the opportunity while at Camp NaNoWriMo to look through names and finally making those changes.

How do I go about naming a character? Baby naming websites have come in clutch. Also, if you’re like me and writing historical fiction, the Social Security Administration website is a gift. You can search through the most poplar names of a specific decade. Super helpful!

Anyone else feel like naming a character is a lot of pressure? Or is that just me? I mean, I know people name children and pets, but fictional characters feel different. Picking the right name that fits perfectly with the story and isn’t the name of someone you know is a unique challenge. It’s all in those pesky, tiny details, right? The tedious work of a writer.

That’s it for week two of Camp NaNoWriMo. Nothing exciting writing-wise, I’m afraid. Just renaming characters and ticking off items from my editing to-do list. Hoping to join a NaNoWriMo virtual write-in or event next week. We’ll see what happens, stay tuned!


How do you name characters? And how are your creative endeavors going? Share your progress. Talk to me in the comments. As always, I love to hear from you guys.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

Camp NaNoWriMo: Editing is Hard (Week 1 Update)

Hello Writer Bees!

Welcome to week one of Camp NaNoWriMo! Hope you are all out there creating amazing things.

How’s my WIP coming along? Glad you asked.

In the wise, relatable words of my blogger buddy Jai Lyn, writing is hard. Fact. Here’s another fact I’ve recently learned; editing is also hard.

In my experience, the editing process has its peaks and valleys. There are days when everything I’ve written is awful and it’s a soul-crushing low. The ‘maybe I should give up’ voice creeps in. Other days, chin raised, I face the storm of editing head on and afterwards, feel like some progress was made. A small, fleeting victory.

Honestly, I’ve never had to edit a piece this size before. I think that’s why it’s taken me so long to edit this story. And mysteries are a beast. Lots of fine tuning is involved with this genre. From the subtleties of suspects to leaving behind crumbs of clues. It’s meticulous. It’s difficult. But it’s not impossible.

When I began editing, I tried to fix everything all at once, hopping from scene to scene. With no direct focus, I was taking shots in the dark. My lack of editing experience and ability was showing. Even so, I wasn’t giving up. I could learn and practice and become better at editing. Just had to find a method to the madness that worked for me. One thing that’s helped me tackle a large project is writing a list. A list of items that need to be edited. From the big plot points to the small details. It kept me on track, it gave me a to-do list. Also, it showed me just how close I am to finishing this WIP once and for all. Which is exciting.

Long story short, that’s my Camp NaNoWriMo update. Compiling a to-edit list and knocking each item out one by one. Hey, that’s what works for me. Also, maintaining a positive attitude through the editing process. There are dark moments. I question if the never-ending editing cycle is all worth it. It will be, I have a feeling.


To all my fellow creatives out there who have edited before, how was the editing process for you? Vent in the comments. Consider it is a safe space to scream. If you have any advice on editing, please share with the rest of the class.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

April and May Post Schedule Update (Camp NaNo + MayOfMystery)

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Hello Writer Bees,

Just wanted to give you guys a quick update of what’s to come on the Lady Jabberwocky blog. Here’s the posting schedule for April and May!

April – Camp NaNoWriMo 2023

A surprise last minute entry, I will be joining Camp NaNoWriMo. Every Friday in April will be an update on my never-ending editing adventures. Will I have a finish final draft by the end of April? I hope so. But my real goal is to connect with the writing community. To cheer on and support my fellow writers. Fingers crossed; I’d also like to participate in a NaNoWriMo event. Maybe a virtual write-in. If you are interested in following my editing journey for my mystery WIP, stay tuned!

Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this year? Let me know in the comments!  

May – May of Mystery

A few years ago, I started May of Mystery, a month dedicated to celebrating all things detective fiction and mystery. It’s a month where all my posts and prompts are inspired by mysteries. We tackled everything from detectives to clue hunting to whodunits and more. Recently, so many new readers have found and followed my blog. So, for all the newcomers and longtime writer bees, this May, I’m sharing some of my favorite mystery-themed posts from years past. Stories and articles that hold a special place in my slueth-loving heart. Consider this the May of Mystery: All Stars edition! Hope you enjoy!


Have any plans for your creative projects coming up? Share your progress in the comments. Let’s support one another!

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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A Problematic Potion (100 Word Fantasy Story)

Once upon a time, there was a wizard charged with a task, to brew a potion of invisibility.

With a pixie by his side, he traveled the realm for ingredients.

A dragon scale, from a mountain’s peak. Two cups of water from the mermaid lagoon. Nectar from the lemon blossom plant. One four-leaf clover.

Once all components were complied, brewed, and sparked with magic, the potion was complete.

Pride in his chest, he sampled the final product at his workshop.

The wizard reeled back, spitting it out. The concoction tasted like sour milk. His feet turned invisible.  

The pixie laughed.


Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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Celebrating My 30th Birthday With My First Tattoo

Hello Writer Bees,

On Sunday, February 5th, I turned 30 years old. My twenties are in the rear-view mirror. Such a special milestone.

For a few years now, getting a tattoo has been on my bucket list. But I wasn’t sure about what I’d get or when it would happen. Couple months back, my mom and I were looking through some old cards and letters written by my Puerto Rican grandmother. In that plastic bin of miscellaneous papers, I found the inspiration for my first tattoo.

My grandmother – I called her Abuelita – was an important part of my life. She was kind and patient and cared for everyone and everything. I adored her. When I was about seven years old, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She passed away almost ten years. Today, whenever anything good happens to me, I believe it’s her doing. What better idea for a tattoo than a tribute to her, my little guardian angel.

All day Sunday, my nerves were a wreck. I was beyond anxious. Not about the pain of getting inked, just the pulling the trigger aspect of this decision. The taking a big-scary-leap type of decision. The dauting question of “Am I really going to do this?”. Thank goodness for my partner’s boundless patience and support. Of course, I spent the afternoon procrastinating. We went to a hardware store and then a pet store, where I nervously paced through the aisles. Walking helps my anxiety sometimes. A stomach full of tacos helped too.

Finally, sitting outside the tattoo shop, I told myself that If I don’t get this tattoo today – on my birthday – I would regret it. Chickening out was not an option. So, I gathered up my courage and got a tattoo. Honestly, it’s more discomfort than pain. It’s more like a vibrating scratch than a bee sting or burning sensation. Hard to explain in words, but what a cool, worthwhile moment.  

Writing this post, I’m looking down at my Abuelita’s handwriting permanently scrawled onto my forearm. Copied exactly from a Valentine’s Day note she wrote me when I was only a newborn. It’s the word ‘Corazón’, which means heart in Spanish. I can say I’m wearing her heart on my sleeve. It’s the most beautiful thing.

Here’s what I learned from my first tattoo experience. I almost talked myself out of something because I was scared, waiting for the right time. Now, I’m overjoyed with this tiny scribble of ink. Yes, big scary leaps are big and scary. Just remember, the jump might be worth it in the end. Don’t let fear stop you from going after what you want.


Do any of you have tattoos? What’s the story behind your ink? Lemme know in the comments.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky  

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