It’s Not a Story Till Somebody Dies

Wordcount: 686
Summary: In which, Meg points out her lack of protagonist-y behaviors during the current draft of The Wolves We Are.

NOTE: This is a MuseFic in which the Writer, the Muse, and her fictives work to create the rough draft of a story (or just worldbuild). There will be spoilers for the story being drafted, which will most likely contain plot holes, retcons, and other inconsistencies.

“Hey, um, writer-monkey?” Cautiously the fictive stuck her head into the bedroom room where the Writer was typing away on her laptop, three dogs, and a ghost cat striving to conquer every inch of uncontested bedspread territory. “Got a minute?”

“Yeah, I think, wait—“ the Writer squinted at the screen and then edited the same sentence for the fifteenth time. “Gotcha! There, now what?” She looked up at her fictive suspiciously, “We’re not going to have another round of witty banter, are we?”

“Yeah, no,” Meg said and claimed a corner of the bed from the Hound Doggie which grumbled a bit but was easily sidetracked by apologetic belly rubs. “Actually, I’m here about a bit of character development. I’m feeling rather un-protagonist-y.”

“That’s not a word.”

“Is now.” The fictive leaned up against the foot of the bed and gave her Writer an annoyed look. “You’re working on the same chapter you’ve been working on for a week. Admit it, I’m two-dimensional, uninspired, and this story isn’t going anywhere because of it. I’m tired of it; you’re the Writer—fix me!”

“What do you want then?” The Writer sighed, “A tragic past? Superpowers? A love interest?”

“I wouldn’t say no to a love interest, but—“ Meg cut off the Writer before she could object, “Protagonists are supposed to drive the story forward, right? I’m just sort of coasting through this thing. Isn’t that one of your major pet peeves about urban fantasy, heroines who do nothing and still win?”

“Ah, okay…wait, hmm.” The Writer shifted to grab the story notes and the cat who was sitting on her shoulder protested sleepily. “Yeah, I guess you are sort of. Dammit.”

“I know most of that is a byproduct of the fact that we’re a dump pack and they don’t want us being proactive, but we’re ignored more than oppressed—I’m not sure we’d just roll over to the Council’s whims like that.” Meg picked up one of the scene cards and tossed it at the Writer. “We’re not wolves, just because Christopher outranks us doesn’t mean he’s in charge.”

“But humans are pretty well known for letting authority figures take over when things get stressful. Even if you’re a dump pack, you have to understand the Council’s role in things.” The Writer pointed out. “And yeah, I sort of picked up your ‘we don’t care who you are’ vibe from the three times I’ve tried to get that scene to work. But I need that plot point.”

“Why him?” Meg asked. “Why can’t one of us –or hello, me— work that out? I’m not an idiot, Susan’s been alive longer than half of us put together and Theo, bless her heart, is actually protagonist-y.”

“Still not a word, and because what’s the point of having him in the story at all if he doesn’t contribute?”

“There’s a difference between contributing and being the only one who makes decisions. He’s there to remind the readers that the pack is in danger of being disbanded and that we might be in trouble for the shenanigans that Donny was pulling with the runaways. He’s an antagonist, not a hero.”

“A sympathetic antagonist.” The Writer objected, “It’s his job to sort things out, but it’s not like he has it in for you.”


“Okay, now you’re sounding like Susan.”

Meg raised an eyebrow. “You put in someone tall, dark and handsome who isn’t a love interest, treats us like idiots because he doesn’t understand how a dump pack works, and then you basically hand him control of the plot. I maintain I have a right to be bitchy.”

“Ah, yes, err—point?” The Writer grinned sheepishly. “Okay, so we’ll edit things a bit.” She looked over the pile of notes and sighed. “I think I need to come at this from a different angle.”

“Which is why the internet was invented,” pointed out Meg. “To the forums!”

“Or we could just write fan fiction until I solidify your personality.”

“Well, yeah,” said Meg. “But you’ve only got a week left to finish off this draft.”

There was a pause.

To the forums!

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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