How To Remind Your Reader That Your Characters Are Super Hot (So They Overlook Your Gaping Plot Holes)

Sarah James
Mar 13, 2020 · 4 min read
Photo by Charles DeLoye on Unsplash

Are you ready for the last writing tip you’ll ever need? Drumroll, please. The number one, surefire way to get around plot holes, inconsistencies, and scenes you just don’t want to deal with writing is to have characters be smoking hot.

Let’s say you have a plot that requires Character A to get keys to a Honda Civic owned by Character B. A must convince B to fork over the keys. You must write this scene skillfully enough that the reader believes it when B says “sure, here are the keys to my Honda Civic.” That sounds hard!

But what if I told you A is Jon Hamm?

Why, all you would have to write is “Give me the keys to your Honda Civic.” “Sure, here are the keys to my Honda Civic.”

The reality of being hot is people just let you do stuff. Surely Jon Hamm has a good reason for absconding with my Honda, so here you go, sir! Ergo, the reality of writing hot characters is you — the author — get to do far less work.

For movies and television this is quite easy, as the medium dictates that the audience is constantly aware of Jon Hamm’s bangin’ bod. This is why so many people thought Mad Men was good.

But for the lowly novelist, it’s on you to periodically check in with your reader, and remind them that the fictional people they are reading about could totally go to the bone zone any time, any place.

Another option would be to write better scenes, but let’s be honest, you’re tired and that’s not happening.

Here’s a few quick tips on reminding your reader that your protagonist definitely knows what sex is, and how to do it:

Bring up their forearms

Think about it — when was the last time you checked out the forearms of a person you didn’t want to bang? Never.

Whether the forearms are cut, tanned, or cut AND tanned — mentioning a character’s forearms is book code for “this person either gets or puts it in on the reg.” Your readers will immediately forget how you failed to explain why the detective simply lets your main character go after catching them committing a murder — the forearms say it all!

For bonus sex points (FYI, sex points are what you need to win at sex), bring up the tan, cut forearms because your character is rolling up their shirtsleeves. Your main character could stab a nun in the middle of the street and your reader would understand how they got away with it, as long as they roll up their shirtsleeves first.

Push that hair aside

You know what gets your hair out of place? Doing it!

Take advantage of this association by having your character tuck an errand strand of hair behind their ear, or flatten a batch of flyaways, or push aside their bangs.

If you are struggling to come up with a good reason why a stranger allows your main character into the barn where all the murder weapons are in plain view, just have your MC run their fingers through their hair. Your reader will assume they’re a prime mattress athlete (or mattlete) and the stranger simply wants to bone them! Problem solved, and you only had to write one sentence!

Lip biting = sexy

People only bite their lip in two scenarios: 1) when they are giving or receiving a pounding, or 2) when they are remembering an especially good pounding they gave or received in the past.

If you can’t come up with a compelling reason why the hotel security guard looks they other way while your main character breaks into the honeymoon suite, have them bite their lip! Lip biting means instant pound appeal, and pound appeal can open any door.

Smoking kills (plot holes)

When all else fails, have your character “bring a cigarette to their lips” or “dangle a cigarette from their lips” or “shove a hot wad of burning plant paper to their face mouth.” Smoking is sexy and cool and if your character does it, they will be sexy and cool too. And sexy, cool people don’t need to do things like “convince their friend to help them rob a bank using appeals to emotion, arguing the logic, or straight-up manipulation.” Appeals to emotion, arguing logic, or straight-up manipulation are all super hard to write, and “Jane let the smoke from her smoking cigarette smoke around her” is easy!

Writers are always looking for ways to do less work — that’s why we’re writers and not, like, bank people or whatever. Do even less by reminding your reader that your characters are super hot instead of fixing any of these plot holes.

Plus, it will make your book easier to masturbate to.

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Sarah James

Written by

sarah is an editor at slackjaw. her writing has appeared in reductress, splitsider, the toast, and more. thesarahjames.com

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +793K followers.

Sarah James

Written by

sarah is an editor at slackjaw. her writing has appeared in reductress, splitsider, the toast, and more. thesarahjames.com

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +793K followers.

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