You go to visit some friends you haven’t seen in awhile, and find yourself sandwiched between your hosts on the couch with a giant scrapbook over your lap like a seat belt, as they show off the half million pictures of snow-capped mountains they snapped on their most recent vacation.
SIDENOTE: It seems HostGator has solved the little domain hiccup we had today. They were quick, too. Looking into preventing it from ever happening again. Now onto the post!
It hardly ever fails. Just when you sit down to write, no matter how long you’ve been waiting for the chance, you suddenly feel like doing anything else.
Today’s topic comes to us from Jubilare:
“I worry a lot about the dysfunction of my characters being taken as an approval of dysfunction in relationships.…One can avoid idealizing the flaws, sure, but how does one accept that humans and relationships are flawed without sending out the message that people should be satisfied with potentially abusive relationships…without seeming to say ‘look at the nice romance you can have with people who have X dangerous flaws’?”
I felt awkward as the photographer told me to turn my head this way and that, and our production director played AC/DC from her iPhone to set the mood. Between instructions, the photographer kept up small talk about Jethro Tull and praised my modeling abilities. “You’re a natural!” he said.
A hundred strangers cling to one another as their runaway train thunders toward a dead end.
Across town, the only woman you’ve ever loved is strapped to a time bomb.
Save her, keep your heart from breaking. But a thousand other hearts get broken instead.
Your protagonist is up for a job interview.
The position: adventure guide.
The hiring company: your reader.
You’ve heard about making your protagonists relatable. And you’ve heard about making them likable. Are they the same thing? If not, which is more important?
The difference between likeability and relatability
You might have noticed a similarity between the two cheesy romance examples from the post at the beginning of this month: both start with “two attractive people.” The vast majority of fictional romances share the gorgeousness trait, which seems a rather unfair statement about all the people who aren’t supermodels, like they either don’t fall in love or their stories aren’t worth writing.
Two attractive people meet. Adventure ensues. They get shot at together. One or both of them shares a moving past experience with the other. Suddenly, it’s love.
Sound similar to the romance in your story? Sorry, it’s also the romantic subplot in pretty much every action movie.
Thought I’d share this handy (short!) tutorial on writing for the camera from Jake Jarvi, the guy behind Platoon of Power Squadron, one of my favorite YouTube series.