As a writer, there are lots of things I can do in my fiction that bring about a Happily Ever After by the end of 60K words or so. But there are still some things I can’t and more likely won’t do. Let’s start with the obvious.
Make a Publisher Buy My Book
See, that’s why I went with self-publishing after a decade or so of sending out a half-dozen query letters. (You should be laughing here) I’m not good at tracking submissions, making sure I have submitted to every single market out there or taking the rejections in good stride. I found it interesting that so many of my rejections stated what a good writer I am and the story was original/authentic/imaginative but not what they are looking for right now. So there you go. I’m a good author but not good enough for the traditional publishers.
Write a Tragic Ending
That’s Shakespeare’s shtick. I want a happy ending, people falling in love almost instantaneously, finding out who stole the painting, and then having mad crazy sex until the ship pulls into the harbor. I want that in what I write, too. I’m having a lot of fun with my science fiction and fantasy book club that makes me read books I normally would not have looked at. Nonetheless, I prefer my romances and HEAs.
Making characters real includes making their world real. There will be people of all shades, sexual preferences, and beliefs in that world. Side note: I hope someday to get my DNA reviewed so that I can establish the presence of certain elements that I believe should be there. My mom’s French Canadian family may have intermarried with Blackfoot Native Americans back in the day. My dad’s Missouri family may have cross-pollinated with people of color and just don’t talk about it. My brother had his DNA checked, so I know some basics. But I learned that male offspring will inherit different genetic material than female offspring. So I’m still curious.
Make a Home Wrecker a Hero or Heroine
This is just not where I want my story to start. A person might fear they caused a marriage to break up, and that would be the lie they believe. As the story progresses, they will realize the marriage had failed already and their involvement will be just to pick up the pieces of their love interest.
Stick to an Outline
Or even write an outline. I usually make a list of the chapters and see what needs to happen when. I stick as close to that as possible. Often I need to keep rearranging those chapter points because the darn characters keep coming up with new and better stuff. I learned long ago that I have to have some kind of map so that I know where I am going. But I just can’t sit down and outline stuff. I’d rather put bamboo shoots under my fingernails while meeting a deadline. Ouch!
I can’t say no to adopting a bird who needs me. I can’t say no helping out the clubs and groups I belong to. And I can’t say no to a writing project. I celebrated the end of the Bowman’s Inn anthologies by joining another anthology! I have a story idea and made progress, but then I got sick and the window of opportunity for the story to be written has pretty much closed. I have to troubleshoot and brainstorm my first Crazy series story, I have to finish the third book in the Regency trilogy, and I have to pick up three or four other side projects like gathering my own short stories to publish or format the anthologies for print on demand. Meanwhile, the second Crazy book is halfway through the first draft and those characters keep complaining.
Stay on a Healthy Diet
Yeah. Seems my husband also needs to go on a diet for his blood pressure issues. I know people have had amazing success with Weight Watchers, and we can join online and enjoy lots of foods that are currently free to eat as much as you wish. Sounds like my kind of plan, so maybe this will be taken off the list soon.
What are your things you can’t do? Would love to hear in the comments what stumbling blocks you have, good or bad. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.