Topic: TOTS

I'm attempting to execute the "Damsel in Distress who Rescues Herself" trope. Which, of course, begs the question, what is H doing during this time period.

Best option I can see is that H is blissfully unaware she's in distress. Maybe she sends a messenger but he's off fighting a villain, and the message doesn't get delivered etc.

Another option... maybe he's aware but is too late. Not sure how that works as I don't think the hero's allowed to be late.

Note that at this time, the characters are already in love. The rescue is not pivotal to them getting together. The danger exists to help prepare the MC to assist in the final battle.

So my question is: To what extent does the average reader accept that a hero can't arrive in time? Is unaware the better choice? I can put him so far away there's no prayer of him arriving in time. Too obvious? It's great if he can arrive "just in time" that she's gotten out of the danger a split second before. Campy?


Remember the Superman movie when Superman arrives too late to rescue Lois Lane? If the bad guy has him embroiled in other pressing matters most readers will accept that the hero can’t be in two places at once and this will ass to the suspense as he tries. You could end the chapter with a cliff hanger then start the next chapter with the damsel having to rescue herself.

Alternately, she could be doing something he told her not to do. At first, he’s like okay, lady, you got yourself into this . . . Then he finds out there’s more at stack than merely trying to teach her a lesson, but by then it’s too late.