Ten Signs That Your Personal Problems
Are Taking Over Your Novel
1. Anyone in the novel who lies to, cheats on, divorces, or is prettier/skinnier/more popular than your protagonist dies a horrific and pointless death.
2. Best friends of your protagonist are limited to: a) an affectionate and beautiful dog with a funny name, b) an affectionate and quirky cat with a dignified name, or c) a short fat frumpy unemployed gopher friend of the same gender with a stupid nickname whose dialogue is limited to variations of They should never have messed with you, Wow, you look amazing, or Gosh darn it! Why can't I be as smart as you are?
3. Courageously your protagonist struggles to hide and control a terrifying secret or secret superpower that, if unleashed, will kill every living member of the opposite gender on the planet.
4. Every character in the novel wants to have sex with your protagonist, and/or tries to have sex with your protagonist.
4a. Female protagonist: Same as #4, but no one succeeds.
4b. Female protagonist in an LKH knockoff: Same as #4, but everyone succeeds.
5. No character in the story can begin to fathom the depth of your protagonist's inner pain. Ever ever ever.
6. The only comfort your protagonist finds is by going through enormous, painful effort and nearly dying six or seven times in order to save the world. This enables the rest of humanity to escape the shadow of evil and live happy, productive, completely oblivious lives. The ingrates.
7. There are no couples with successful, long-term relationships in the story. Any secondary relationships in the novel are brief and end badly. Any two characters who stand close to each other for longer than five minutes bicker nonstop.
8. You dedicate the book to your ex, who bears a striking resemblance to the slime-oozing, black-hearted antagonist who suffers enormously before dying a violent but well-deserved death in the end. You never actually give your ex a copy of the book.
9. Your parents don't want to read the book, but you throw a tantrum until they do. When they have, you flatly refuse to discuss the story.
10. Your protagonist is an identical twin version of you, minus the trifling little physical imperfections, but wealthier, stronger, and way more respected. Your protagonist also drives the cool car that Dad wouldn't buy you when you were in high school.