How “Heroes” Is Helping Me Write My Novel

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While watching the dismal scene between Claire and Nathan in Mexico on this week’s episode of “Heroes,” it occurred to me that what made the scene so disappointing is EXACTLY what was bothering me about a scene I had written myself that day, in the novel I’m working on. I didn’t really buy my scene either.

All of a sudden Claire and Nathan have this heart-to-heart about what kind of man he should be. Yeah, he should act like a man but first, don’t we need to get a little angry first? This dude locked up your friends and has established it so that people like him are being held in detainment centers by the government and the only reason you’re ok with this is because he rescued you from getting locked up? And not because he suddenly came to his senses but because he was found out for having powers? What?

I’m serious, as soon as this scene was over and I was done shaking my head, I grabbed my laptop and erased the scene I’d written earlier in the day. I had to face facts that I was rushing things, that the emotional current I was creating between my main characters was not authentic and, therefore, was ultimately a waste of someone’s time. And yes, I’ll have to rewrite it but at least then it will be marginally better. Before I delete that and write it again. And again. And again.

This is the last time I’m going to say this, Team Behind Heroes- I get it, building emotional connections between characters is tough. I’m grappling with it myself. But forcing it is unacceptable. You want my advice? Demand an end-date for the show, ala Lost, and get down to writing out how this is all going to go. Create an end-point for these characters, emotional and plot end-points and then create a LOGICAL WAY TO GET THERE. This is Story 101 not rocket science.

I could be watching “How I Met Your Mother” for God’s sake.

– Judi

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