So I’m in the middle of revisions, and I realized that my characters smile too much. Especially my protagonist. And she’s not even happy somteimes. She’s just pretending to be happy for those around her. Only when I tried to fix it, it came out about like this conversation:
Me: You can’t do that!
Protag: But I’m happy. Don’t you smile when you’re happy.
Me: But you smile way too much.
Protag: Seriously? It’s a BAD thing that I’m a happy character. Do you want me to turn all emo on you? Because you really won’t like it when I have to write all that bad poetry to reveal my soul.
Me: It’s not that, really. You just can’t smile so often. Could you, perhap, do something else when you’re happy?
Protag: Like what?
Me: Um… I really don’t know. You could… um… well… maybe…
Protag: What if I SING AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS A HAPPY SONG?
Me: Um… no. That’s not what I had in mind.
Protag: (tapping her foot, arms folded) So… what should I do?
Me: (strategically start avoiding Protag’s gaze)
Protag: Really, you’ve got issues. Guess I don’t really have to be happy. It’s not like you’re story is this big pile of laughs, anyways. *Stomps away in disgust grumbling ‘I smile too much? How can you smile TOO much…’*
Is there a trait that your characters do too often? I’ve heard Bree Despain say that (before her revision) she had her protagonist throw up way too frequently. So it seems to be a common thing. In my random wanderings around the internet, I ran across this helpful blog, The Bookshelf Muse. Angela Ackerman helps give us a solution by providing an EMOTIONAL THESAURUS. Check it out!
So what things do your characters do too frequently?