Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Too Stupid To Live Heroines by Camy/Camille

Hi guys! I recently had my Regency novella, The Spinster’s Christmas, edited by a professional macro-editor (Meredith Efken at The Fiction Fix-It Shop if you’re interested). I had been in a bad place self-confidence-wise when I wrote the book last year, and I knew it had problems but I couldn’t quite pinpoint what they were.

What was really funny was that Meredith pointed out something glaringly obvious to her that I had completely missed.

I really hate how the cheerleader in those horror movies does the dumbest things when there’s a psychopathic axe-murderer after her. My writer friends and I fondly call her the “Too Stupid To Live” heroine.

Because of my biology research background, I’m usually pretty logical and have avoided the TSTL heroine in my books, but when Meredith edited The Spinster’s Christmas, she found a part near the end where my heroine did exactly that. Like the cheerleader who runs into the empty house and up to the attic when the axe-murdered is after her, my heroine ran away from crowds of people and into the dark creepy woods when the villain was after her.

[Head smack]

Why didn’t I see that when I was writing the book?????

Luckily I was able to fix it, so the revised version of The Spinster’s Christmas will not have her doing such a completely idiotic thing.

As suspense writers, we really have to avoid the TSTL heroine because otherwise the reader tosses our books against the wall, but the fact remains that I am often too close to the story to see something right in front of my face.

Did you read about or see a movie with at TSTL heroine? Sometimes they’re funny and sometimes they’re tragic and sometimes they’re tragically funny.

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Her romantic suspense, Gone Missing, releases May 2015 so pre-order it now. Also, her romantic suspense novella, Necessary Proof, is available for free. She is a staff worker for her church youth group, and leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she ponders frivolous things like knitting, running, dogs, and Asiana. Sign up for her newsletter to hear about new releases or sales on her backlist.

8 comments:

  1. Great post! It really made me laugh because it is so true. I can't think of a specific example right now, but it is a pet peeve of mine and I will utter, "What was she thinking? Well, she deserves what she gets!", etc. Of course, as the heroine she needs to be in some sort of trouble that she has to get out of or be rescued out of, so I guess it is a pretty fine line you have to walk when creating the people and scenarios!
    Brittany McEuen

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    1. Brittany I don't know what happened to my earlier reply to you! Sorry about that! Anywhere, here it is again. :) I tend to see more TSTL heroines when I'm dumb enough to watch one of those slasher horror flicks. :)

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  2. HA! I love it! "Too Stupid to Live." I must remember that when I continue my historical romantic suspense. ;)

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    1. Yes, do not forget the TSTL syndrome! At least, try to avoid it. :)

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  3. Great post, Camy! Reminds me of that Geico commercial about horror movie characters--they predictably make bad decisions. It's what they do! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWv-dIUP9oc

    I have a character in my CAMERA NEVER LIES book go down into the "dungeon" basement but as she did it, she thought about all those characters who make dumb decisions and said she understood then now, understood why they went--they had to know. She had to know. RoFl. But it was a quirky mystery, so it worked.

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    1. I LOVE that Geico commercial! My husband and I laughed our heads off at that!

      And I think that curiosity is a little different from when you're running for your life from an axe-murderer. :)

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  4. One example I remember, from the usually reliable Shannon Hale, is "Midnight in Austenland: A Novel", her return to the imaginary Jane Austen themed resort of "Austenland: A Novel" but as the setting for a murder mystery this time.
    The problem is that her heroine, Charlotte Kinder, is such a ditz, think Nancy Drew channeling Paris Hilton, that her mere survival, much less any eventual solving of the mystery, is constantly in doubt:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R3PVEIVCNQV819

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    1. LOL Maybe that doubt is part of the conflict and tension? ;)

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