Battle of the Protagonists

three gophers - one dressed as a surfer, one with a blond ponytail holding cash, and one dressed as a witch

Let’s just assume it is normal for a writer to have her characters talking inside her head. I’m not saying this happens to me…okay, fine, it does. But it’s usually limited to conversations between the characters within a single book. Awhile ago I got to wondering what would happen if my various main characters met each other and compared notes on how I’m treating them.

This probably won’t be funny to anyone except me. And that’s okay. If I can’t entertain myself, what’s the point of doing this anymore?

July 2012

INT. A TRAVELING PET SPA

Amalia, a privileged witch, smiles smugly at Ari, a teen entrepreneur from a working-class background.

AMALIA

I suppose you’ll have to wait a little while longer for your story to be revised.

ARI

What? But…but she promised.

AMALIA

Well, my story’s further along. It takes priority.

ARI

You sanctimonious little b–

August 2012

EXT. FLOODED WAR ZONE OUTSIDE STONE CITY WALLS

Amalia skips past, wielding a flaming ball of magicky something-or-other.

AMALIA

Never mind. My book’s done now!

ARI

FINALLY. It’s my turn!

January 2013

EXT. SMALL-TOWN CITY HALL

Ari’s shaking her fist at the miniature dog fountain when Annie shows up with a surfboard. Annie leans her surfboard against the dog fountain, which promptly tips over.

ANNIE

Hi!

ARI

Who are you?

ANNIE

I’m Annie. I’m in the next project.

ARI

What is it with the A names?

ANNIE

I don’t know about you, but my name totally fits me and my time period. I’m historical.

ARI

Actually you’re a little too present, cutting in to my time. I should be completely revised at this point.

ANNIE

It’s not my fault your story’s unmarketable and weird.

ARI

Unmarketable? Unmarketable? Oh, I guess you’d know all about that, Miss Historical-Novel-In-Verse.

ANNIE

At least I’m not completely wackadoodle. And I don’t hit people.

ARI

I don’t hit people. Much. Besides, you hit someone!

ANNIE

Yes, but my reasoning was dark and dramatic. Yours is because you feel like it.

ARI

I kinda feel like it now. Come a little closer.

October 2013

EXT. BALMY HAWAIIAN BEACH, MONSTER WAVES IN BACKGROUND

ANNIE

I’m nearly in draft 3 and she’s still going strong!

ARI

(sobs) I’m in Draft 480 and she still isn’t done with me!

END

Comments
11 Responses to “Battle of the Protagonists”
  1. Helene says:

    Okay, I think this is hysterical!!!!! And what IS it with A names???

  2. PB Rippey says:

    Ha ha! (that’s big laughter) Okay, you really know your characters, Beth! I think you should send this to the New Yorker immediately.

  3. OMG, Beth–what a concept! Totally see it! Love the way your mind works. Here’s mine:
    Shea: He’s after me–what do I do? He knows I saw him kill her.
    Paige: Big deal. At least your not sitting in a nut house jacked up on crazy pills.
    Shea: You got a point.
    Oooh, let’s have a party and dress up like our protagonists!:)
    You so funny, QS. (And I’m digging your new Spirograph border.)

    • Beth Hull says:

      A protagonist party! I love it! It’s even better if we dress up like an unpublished protagonist, because then we can talk about them. Sounds like a great improv exercise, & might even open up new dimensions in our characters. We should take this act on the road, QS!

  4. Hahaha, this was hilarious. You need to pick some middle names, like M next. You like the extremes. 🙂

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