Hints for creating a strong female character based on Hollywood’s standards:
__ Have her beat up a man within the first 20 pages. The closer you make the beating to her introduction, the stronger a female character she will be. In the best case scenario, she enters the story already karate kicking. Bonus points if she knows science-y stuff.
__ Avoid femininity in favor of a sexual militant look. This sexual militant look must be effortless and accidental, because strong female characters are too strong to put time into their appearance. That would mean they were shallow or weak. (Except for that one scene where she wears the slinky dress and we realize she’s human… or at least a viable sexual partner.)
__ Give her a generous amount of dialogue relating to her independence and autonomy. This is to make sure that people understand she is a strong female character. If possible, throw in some jabs at the male characters and their maleness, because the best way to eradicate the objectification of one gender is to objectify another gender.
__ Emotional scarring is a a must. Emotional or mental damage is a good way to explain her lack of soft, feminine values, especially if this damage relates back in some way to a man. This adds complexity, making the strength of your female character actually a flaw that needs to be fixed (probably by the hero).
__ Keep her alone on her pedestal of perfect strong female character-ness. While male characters can be surrounded by buddies without losing integrity, it is best if your strong female character is a lone wolf. Too many strong female characters may push the story into “Feminist” territory, and no one wants that. (The one exception to this rule is if you have another strong female character and they are in conflict with one another. Everyone likes cat fights.)