Husbands Are Useful or What Would Luke Do?

I knew there was a reason for husbands. I mean apart from changing fuses, cleaning drains, getting rid of spiders and entertaining children. Yes, mine has yet again proven his worth when it comes to sorting out my complicated plot dilemma.

I was telling him about my great new idea that involved a pretend relationship instead of the fake engagement (see previous post) and he was silent for a little minute. And then he said ‘that sounds quite complicated’ . So I explained that they had to have a reason for continuing their relationship after their one-nighter – which was the whole point of the fake engagement thing, as well as enforcing an intimacy that would deepen the tension. All very good reasons I thought.
But you know what he said? He told me that it sounded very much like I was inventing reasons to make my characters do what I told them. No, he had not read my previous blog post. No, I had not applied my own very good advice to myself. Doh.

So I whined, ‘But they need a reason to see each other again.’
And husband says, ‘Really? So hot sex isn’t enough of a reason?’
‘But…but…’ I protested weakly.
‘Come on,’ says husband. ‘Ask yourself – what would Luke do? Would he really need a reason other than that to see her again?’
Of course he wouldn’t. He’s an alpha male. If he wanted to keep seeing her then, by crickey, he’d just jolly well go ahead and do it! And would Anna say no? No, of course not! Would you say no to another hot weekend with a fabulously hot guy?

Okay, so after having pointed out my blatant manipulation of my characters, dear hubby then suggested a way that I could still deepen the tension and enforce the intimacy that wasn’t so complicated and contrived. I’ve got a party in the plot that was supposed to put the fake engagement to the test and hubby suggested making this weekend party occur somewhere away so that my hero and heroine (she’ll ask him to the party and he’ll say yes) will be together where the chance to get away is minimal. So now I have them in enforced intimacy (to deepen the tension), no fake engagements, no pretend relationships. And the action stems directly from choices they both make. Of course once they get to the party, that’s where the fun starts conflict-wise. It was just the getting them there that was the hassle!

This is not to say it all won’t turn to custard again. But at least my niggles about contriving my plot have been put to rest. And it may all for nought anyway if I don’t get asked for the full. But what this has taught me is that I am STILL a class A manipulator of characters to suit my own evil ends and this needs to stop right now. Think I shall have to print out a little sign that says ‘What would Luke do?’ and stick it to my monitor just to remind me.

Anyway, here’s to hubby, upholder of characters rights, saviour of plots, and stern keeper-in-liner of wayward romance authors!!

17 thoughts on “Husbands Are Useful or What Would Luke Do?”

  1. “Really? So hot sex isn’t enough of a reason?”

    LOL! You definitely have a keeper there, Jackie!

    I’d post that quote on the wall if I could – but it might lead to some very pointed questions from my kids.

    Amy

  2. I know, Amy! Trust a man to fixate on the hot sex eh? Maybe it’s that quote I should be putting on my monitor but then I’d run into the very same problems as you would.
    ‘What would [add hero’s name here] do’ is a kind of stand in. 🙂

  3. VERY GOOD question indeed Mr. Jackie!! Can I borrow him for a bit.

    Think the key is to NEVER stop asking yourself questions about WHY the hero and heroine are WHO they are and WHY doing things!

  4. Absolutely, Rach! The other thing to bear in mind that NOTHING in your plot is sacred. Be prepared to ditch it if it doesn’t work. No matter how much you love the idea. Sigh.

    BTW, love Mr Jackie. That’s how he shall be known hereafter. 🙂

  5. LOL! I love this post. I’ve actually realised I’ve been leaning toward the complicated myself just from thinking WWLD and I never expected that I thought I was already thinking that. Perhaps we just like to make everything as hard as possible? Do you like challenge soldier?

  6. I think men sometimes see things clearer than us, it might be something to do with how they can only do one thing at a time?? Not sure, but they do come in handy don’t they? I joke to my hubby that i keep him around to open jars and to take the bins out.

  7. Lacey, I’m wondering why I make things so damn complicated! I just have an idea in my head about how the plot would work well and then I invent all these reasons to make it like that, when in fact I should be letting my characters decide. Within reason of course. 🙂
    Another great ancroynm for me. Thanks! WWLD. Love it.

    Janette, I reckon it’s just because they just have very simple brains. 😉

  8. Hmm, maybe I should try and get me one of those men things. They sound as though they could be quite useful!!

    I was kind of a bit worried that in my new idea the only reason H wants to take h to Monaco with him is because she intrigues him and he fancies the pants off her. Now your husband, through his wise advice, is giving me permission.

    I like your husband 🙂

  9. Oooh Jackie, Mr Jax sounds worth his weight in gold. Plot discussion hire out on an hourly charge could be really lucrative for you both! You’ll have a queue.

  10. I can see it now. Ask Dr Jax.com

    But they do say ‘out of the mouths of babes’ and I think that all of your readers would agree that after all the posts where you have mentioned your husband he does sound like a bit of a babe (is that a round of applause I hear).

    I am so looking forward to reading this manuscript so whether it is requested or not, you are going to have to finish it.

    Cheers

  11. Joanne, they’re pretty good on the whole, men. Just don’t get me started on the issue of bathroom towels on the floor. 🙂
    Yes, your hero might just want a dirty weekend with a hot woman – clearly there is no problem there!

    Lol, Judy! Mr Jax could be very useful indeed. What with his clear man-thinking and his psychiatric knowledge, he could prove a useful answerer of conflict/motivation questions.

    Felicity, you’re so right. I should buy the domain name right now!
    My husband is a bit of babe. AT least, I like him.
    Oh and I shall finish the ms never fear. I’ll let you know when I get some feedback. Whenever that may be… NTAI though.

  12. You’ll have to start hiring him out to sort out motivations and conflicts, could prove a lucrative sideline!

    Glad to hear you’re making progress

  13. Your husband sounds as useful as mine, when it comes to unraveling a plot problem. I wrangle with things for days and my husband sorts it out in less than a minute. Maybe we should just give them the whole darn thing to write 🙂

  14. Lorraine, yes, I’m considering all my options here. 😉

    Ha, Lucy! I remember your post about your hubby sorting something out for you too. Definitely – he can write it and I’ll take all the glory. 🙂

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