Swooning is so last millennium

One of the final sections rewritten in my novel Hotel Déjà vu was the reunion of the MC and her love interest. I began working on it as the villain experienced far too much personal growth in the scene and I needed her to be horrid. The character arc needed to be as flat as possible so instead of her helping the MC while she was suffering from a migraine, she was on a self-guided tour of the gardens at Versailles.

She had to be as selfish at the end as she was at the beginning so she DESERVED HER ENDING. I heard this term recently and I realised that Paula was still too likeable!

What became obvious during the rewriting of this scene was that I had committed a terrible crime when writing Strong Female Protagonists. My MC was swooning…

I know that having a headache, a migraine or fainting are not weakness in a real person but I worry that it’s lazy writing. It’s too…easy. Like “she woke up and it was all a Dream...”

Remember The Hunger Games? Re-reading it recently it occurred to me that at three crucial plot points, Katniss is indisposed! She’s injured or mysteriously swooning somewhere in a locked room under the watchful eye of a competent adult. One of the adults who thought it was okay for children to fight to the death… Perhaps her swoon was a way of showing that she was being manipulated? She was a young girl after all, so passing out after what she had just lived through was entirely plausible.

My MC is an adult and I wanted her to make choices, to be master of her own destiny, to deserve her ending.