So I’ve been creeping – barely crawling – through a slash-and-burn rewrite of a partial manuscript I (electronically) shelved a few months back. I thought about my darling characters occasionally, feeling bad for the terrible position I left my female protagonist in, and the confused and lonely state where dwelled my poor fellow. But, you see, they wouldn’t obey. The words I wrote for them, they scoffed at. The situations I put them in, they ignored, preferring instead to sidle up to one another. They wanted (the bloody, stubborn &(%@*$) to be in a ROMANCE NOVEL.
I didn’t know what to do. I don’t write romance. I blush during love scenes. I deplore the cocky alpha male and the female who falls at his feet despite being smart, feisty, capable and super-freaking hot. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
They persisted, the fundamentals of their story (those they allowed) remaining intact and beckoning. And, I’ve relented. We recently sat down together at a round table in the banquet room of an all-night diner, the wallpaper yellowed with age and Moons Over My Hammy steam, and we talked it out. I’m allowing them to get together. They’ll get their freaking “happily ever after”. But I’m going to punish them for it. Their worst nightmares. No, worse than their worst nightmares. To borrow from (with some alterations) The Princess Bride:
You truly love each other and so you might have been truly happy. Not one couple in a century has that chance, no matter what the story books say. And so I think no couple in a century will suffer as greatly as you will.
It’s going to be quite a write, quite a ride, and quite a read.