Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Great Big Misunderstanding

Never, never, NEVER, have a situation in your book, that could be solved if a couple of characters simply sat down for half an hour over a cup of coffee and talked to each other. The Great Big Misunderstanding is a central plot point of many BAD novels, including romance novels, and is guaranteed to drive huge numbers of readers to throw the book against the nearest wall.
You’ve all seen the movies and read the books. They separate when she sees him kissing a beautiful woman. She never asks him why, or anything like that, she just runs away. In the second last chapter someone finally tells her it was his sister and then they all live happily ever after. No, if she can’t manage to ask him why he’s kissing someone she doesn’t deserve to win him. Is her trust and love really too fragile for her to speak to him?
Characters need to show some spine and gumption. If they can’t face facts there needs to be an overwhelming reason why. It should never be just a plot point to keep them apart until it’s time for the reunion and happily ever after.

Helen Woodall


anny cook said...

Amen!Reminds me of Barbara Cartland.

Helen Woodall: Freelance Editing said...

A trailblazer in her day, but today's readers want a heroine who's not and doesn't speak and act with so many ellipses!

Joanna Waugh said...

Wonderful advice, Helen! I try to keep it in mind with every chapter I write and every critique I give.

Helen Woodall: Freelance Editing said...

Hi Joanna, Lovely to hear from you again.