Isekai: 2.8

Ariel wrapped herself around me so tightly that the air rushed out of my lungs and the blood rushed straight to my… just-bitten shoulder, fortunately. At her size there was no safe place for my hands, and she was definitely all woman, and she was purring. The pain wouldn’t keep me down for long, and I desperately needed a distraction.

Which she provided, suddenly leaping back over to Angel with a question that turned our assumptions sideways. “Do names make you grow up?”

It hit her hard. “It… I don’t… maybe they do, for us. Maybe the reason we don’t grow up is because we don’t have names.”

“Or maybe that’s the reason you weren’t given names.”

As if we needed another reason to despise whatever Powers were in charge of there.


Now that she has a name, it’s a bit easier to talk about her story.

My little sync problem knocked me out of the groove for a while, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because I’d put Virginia into a situation where the most obvious direction took me into a trope trap.

She was the New In Town, Fish Out Of Water, Snarky Loner, Weirdness Magnet, Agent Of Chaos, Wrong-Genre-Savvy Girl Who Knows Too Much, and yet the first thing I set up put her into a Private Benjamin role. Big cast, lots of completely unfamiliar experiences for her that would be annoyingly mundane to the reader. And to me, because hey, I might be the only reader. 😁

I recently linked to a tweet (that has disappeared and reappeared…) that hits the heart of the problem: “secondhand embarrassment is the worst type of humor and it makes 90% of sitcoms unwatchable”. The more I sympathize with the character, the more it makes me cringe to see them made a fool for laughs, to the point that I’ll leave the room or stop watching, and while Virginia isn’t a very sympathetic character, she is in my head, and I have to be in hers to write her.

I’d set her up to play the fool. And I’d set myself up to create several people whose only role was to be there to point and laugh. They weren’t her allies or even necessarily her enemies, just the props that had to be in place to make her slip on that banana.

With the right Native Guide, she can navigate that particular jungle mostly offscreen, leaving room for another character who’s been knocking on the door demanding to be let in. For that one, I’m leaning strongly toward pulling a distinctive name out of my family tree. No relation.

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