Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Making Out Does Not make Characters Unable to be Killed, Just Sayin

Hey, folks,

I missed last Wednesday. A lot’s been going on. Good news, though. My thesis passed!!!!

Well, the happy parts of this scene, but I love the whole thing. So yeah.

And now to the meat and potatoes of today’s post. I’ve seen versions of the following scene too many times.

*Hero and heroine are running away from something stronger than them that’s trying to kill them. They stop.*
Hero: “You know, I love you semi-randomly.”
Heroine: “You know, I semi-randomly love you, too. Wanna make out?”
Hero: “Yes.”
*They make out*

Umm, hello? Your being chased by something that’s very strong and wants you dead. WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?

Five ways to avoid death by random declaration of love/very intense lust

-Wait until the danger passes before having your characters admit their feelings/make out

“But having them declare love/kiss while they’re in danger is so romantic.”
It’s also bad for their lifespans and a timing problem. If whatever’s chasing them is stronger, odds are good it’s faster, too. So now hero and heroine are not only being chased, but their pursuer is gaining on them. Now, think, in real life you wouldn’t stop and start making out (or maybe you would if you figured you were dead anyway), but this is fiction. The good guys win. So if they stop to make out, you have to delay the superfast thing chasing them, which, as I said, creates timing problems. I don’t want to be left wondering what happened to the thing that was right behind them.

Also, it’s a beautiful moment when they’ve escaped and can be excited they both survived.

-Have them admit their feelings/make out before the threat shows up

This works because, well, they aren’t in danger yet. It’s also a great way to break up the romantic moment. (What, I’m the only one who enjoys torturing their characters by having the big romantic moment interrupted by a three-headed dragon? Fine then.)

-Temporarily trap the threat

This is particularly doable if either the hero or heroine has strong enough magic/access to sufficient technology to make this happen. It’s also a cool moment where you get to show off your character’s talents.

It also gives a moment for making out where I’m not wondering why they haven’t been eaten/burned to a crisp/carried off to be forcibly married to the president of the underwater basket weaving club.

-Make it a quick kiss/confession

*Stopped to catch breath (preferably somewhere where the thing chasing them has to break down a wall before getting to them)*
Hero: “So in case we die, I love you.”
Heroine: “Same here”
*quick kiss/almost kiss right as wall crashes down and then back to running*

There’s nothing wrong with this. Well, there’s nothing wrong with this providing neither dies, and since they are the hero and heroine, they most likely won’t be dying anytime soon. So we’re good. This is also very comical.

-kiss/confession on the run

Hero: *running and possibly ducking flying objects* “So in case we die, I love you.”
Heroine: “Same here.”
*air kiss*

Romance and a chase scene. Everyone’s happy.

So, authors, I am begging you. Please, no more “we’re in immediate mortal danger…let’s make out” scenes.

Find me on Twitter @desantismt.

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