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!!