What Do My Protagonists Really Think of Me?
Editor’s Note: We creative writers do some fairly dreadful things to our protagonists throughout the course of our writing careers. Oh, we say that we love them. That they’re our babies. That they’re an intricate part of our lives that we guard oh-so jealously…
But then we torture them physically, emotionally, romantically and every other which way. So think about it for a moment… Wouldn’t it be a bit surprising if they returned the sentiment and said they loved us too?
It’s therefore with some trepidation that I’m allowing every single one of my main characters to have at it below. After everything I’ve put them through, it seems only fair to let them say their piece.
I’m officially scared, but here goes something…
Thomas Evans (Moves and Countermoves): Everyone’s here, so let’s get this started. Do we have a constructive purpose to this meeting or is it just to air our grievances?
Kayla Jeateski (The Politician’s Pawn): I don’t think we have any constructive options available. I mean, she’s the writer. She can do whatever she wants with us.
Abigail Carpenter (Founding America series): At the risk of sounding contrary, I’m not entirely sure that’s true. Weren’t you originally supposed to die at the end of your book?
Sabrina Johnson (Faerietales series): I’m seriously not trying to start a fight here, Abigail, especially with a war veteran as it were – and thank you for your semi-fictional service, by the way – but Jeannette was probably the easiest on you out of all of us.
Besides, you’re from the 18th century. You have to be more polite.
Abigail Carpenter: Polite? Ha! As I recall, you were initially based off Jeannette herself. Which means you of all characters should know how snippish Americans were during the Revolutionary War.
Sabrina Johnson: She started in on me well before she got to you, so I can’t be blamed for not knowing historical facts she had no idea about at the time. And while you’re right that I started out as her, I’m pretty sure she was the most brutal to me out of every other protagonist she ever wrote about.
Rodney Andiluigi (Amateurs Play Elsewhere): Speak for yourself.
Thomas Evans: Really, Rod? You’re going to go there?
Rodney Andiluigi [absentmindedly touches scar on forehead]: Oh, fine. Sabrina’s was worse. But my story was still humiliating.
Sabrina Johnson: Blah, blah, blah. Chirp, chirp. Beep beep.
Keziah (The Adulteress): Honestly, I’m not even sure why we called this meeting at all. Bad things happen in life, and sometimes we make them worse. She was just depicting reality. Besides, everyone got an eventual happy ending. Didn’t they?
Demetrius (The Adulteress): I stand with Keziah on this one.
Rodney Andiluigi: Why did we invite the historical protagonists again?
Thomas Evans: Because they’re still Jeannette’s creations, so they still have a right to say their piece.
Sabrina Johnson: Believe it or not, I agree. But I do think it’s important to officially note that our historical compatriots here have less reason to be ticked off with her than we do. I mean, Keziah is based on an actual Bible story, Demetrius makes perfect sense as a Roman soldier, and there were plenty of young women during the Revolutionary War who went through most if not all of what Abigail did.
Keziah: I can see that.
Demetrius: That sounds reasonable.
Abigail Carpenter: I’ll accept it too. Though, historical or not, I assure you that all that suffering was something less than easy.
Sabrina Johnson: Oh, I'm sure. You’ll get no objections whatsoever from me on that one.
Thomas Evans: We’re running up the word count at this point, guys, and my guess is that Jeannette’s only going to give us so much room to run with here.
Kayla Jeateski: Good point. How about we all just agree that she went far from easy on us – sometimes to the point of downright cruelty – and leave it at that. I mean, I suppose our books wouldn’t be nearly so good if she wasn’t such a literary tyrant. But still.
Rodney Andiluigi: Can I take up 14 more words and officially say that I hate her?
Thomas Evans [eyebrows raised]: You just did.
Sabrina Johnson: Count me in with Rod here. She’s an inexcusable fiend.
Editor’s Note: With that, I’m cutting them off – not because I’m a tyrant on top of being an inexcusable fiend, but because I really am running out of reasonable word space here.
So protagonists of mine, I do sincerely apologize for everything I did to you… But in the end, I take none of it back.