Reject The Premise

You’ve heard the ‘smooth sailing’ metaphor, as in it’s either smooth sailing or it’s not, right?

In writing, it’s our goal to make the writing as choppy as possible. For someone like me, whose whole goal in life is to make things comfortable for those around her, this is a hard idea to wrap my head around. So, in my fiction (as in my life), my characters often accept what others hand to them, reacting instead of proacting (yeah, I made the word up. So what?)

But that is dull. And makes for not very likeable characters, unless you happen to like super-neurotic, premise-accepting people (and if you do, you are likely a friend of mine).

So my goal in writing right now is to make my characters as feisty and proacting as possible. For example, the hero in my current WIP is going to kiss the heroine to get her to stop asking questions, but instead of leaning into the kiss, as she really wants to do (he’s smokin’!), she’s going to haul off and slap him, because she knows he’s only kissing her to shut her up, not because he wants to kiss her.

It’s an eye-opener, thinking of things to put my characters through I would never want a friend to experience. But it’ll make for better fiction. And maybe help me get more proacting, too.


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Beth Elliott
12 years ago

I’m not sure I dare argue with that. You might proact in an unexpected way. I agree with the girl hauling herself out of a cigarette-fuelled kiss. What happened next?

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Beth, I thought Megan meant “smokin” as in being a “hottie,” not literally smoking a cigarette. Hey, that’s something we never have heroes do!!!! (thinking of Megan’s last week’s blog-Cheaters Never Win)

I like that scenario you’ve created. I think it is sexy. So much of what we write we wouldn’t want to deal with in real life. I mean, who would want an Alpha Hero for real????

Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

I also have a very hard time being “mean” to my characters! It hurts me to hurt them but I force myself to do it. 🙂 I also like to look at each scene and think “how can I make it more difficult for them? How can I make them face their worst fears?” Poor characters!

12 years ago

Funny girl : ) Proacting? It is your piece, you can make up all the words you want.
I don’t want to be terrible to the hero, but make him work for the heroine and their HEA. You don’t appreciate it if something is too easy.

Megan Frampton
12 years ago

Beth, Diane is right, the hero is smokin’ only that he is a hottie; def. one of my dealbreakers is smoking cigarettes!

And thanks to all for encouragement on my proacting!

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