A few weeks ago, I got the first pass of edits back for SPEAKING OF LOVE (the soon-to-be-released, second book in my Perfect Kisses series). It's such a fun story; I'm so totally crazy in love with the characters and I can't wait to send her out into the world.
Before that, however, I'd sent my rough draft to my critique partner. Who is fab and brill and dons a editing pen of fire and brimstone. She had kiiiiind of an issue with one of my characters, who had tendencies that my crit partner (ha-ha) did not care for. In fact, there were many comment bubbles that said things like: "I want to slap her."
As her notes on my manuscript progressed, instead of explaining what she didn't like, she simply wrote "slap." (I still crack up at the memory, even as I write this.) After some soul-searching and chocolates, I completely saw her point and set out to de-slap-ify my character, then sent the rewrite to my editor. Shew!
End of the story?
Because it got me to thinking...
You know those annoying characters who keep making the wrong choices and every chapter you read gets more and more frustrating? Unfortunately, many of these characters are YA chicks. (Not her, her, her, or her and many others--I LOVE me some YA!) They whine, they pout, they stomp around and never listen to anybody.
Wouldn't it be so great if--like with my crit partner--every time one of these annoying characters did something super-annoying, you could write "slap" in the margin, and the author was forced to take out the annoying slap-worthy action?
Let me just throw an example out there: When Bella Swan sneaks out on her new vampire friends because she thinks she has a better idea than the hot vampires who have been living in the vampire world for, like, 500 years...just call out "SLAP" and blammo, Bella is listening to Edward's advice, ditching Jacob-the-manipulator, and washing her scraggly hair.
As soon as someone comes up with the software for this little gem, don't worry, I'll only claim intellectual property rights. We can split the royalties.
|Dude, please close your mouth and run a brush through that hair.|