I have reached Chapter 14 in my newest story and must say, I am quite worried for my characters. I’ve done all I can to prepare them for what’s to come, indeed for what they’ve already faced. And yet they still hesitate, as if worried they haven’t the ability to survive. My words to them, if I could speak directly to them – and have them actually listen to me for once – would be that my idea of a satisfying romance includes a happily ever after ending. That bit of information would, if they’d care to hear it, comfort them and give them that sense of ability they seem to lack at this moment of no return.
Ah… but then again, if they knew this, if they’d taken the time to read my notes as I have, they might not feel the anguish they need to feel in order to make that happily ever after ending a reward they’ve earned and deserve.
I will confess… I have tortured these poor characters more than any other characters I’ve created. I’ve given one of them a harrowing past filled with fear, grief and confusion. I’ve given the other a past wrought with responsibility beyond his means, his age. They’ve survived those pasts and have become strong, independent characters because of it. They should thank me, don’t you think?
Instead, they fight me. They keep secrets from me. My hero, for instance, informed me – well into Chapter 12 – that he speaks Spanish. Well golly-gee. Shouldn’t he have told me that sooner? Like before I’d written a scene where the villain was speaking Spanish and none of the ‘good guys’ were supposed to understand him? Sheesh. Fortunately, that scene didn’t include the hero, so no harm, no foul. Still… it would have been nice to know.
I suppose what’s fair is fair. I mean, after all, I’m not really giving them the heads up on what challenges they’ll have to face. I’m merely asking them – expecting them – to trust me and know they can indeed get themselves past those obstacles. What good is a happily ever after ending without the tension of possibly not reaching it?
A friend of mine is reading this story as I write it. She’s just returned Chapter 13 to me with these words: “This plot is so thick, I don’t think you can stir it anymore.” That made me laugh aloud. I love the sound of it, though I do hope, with just a little extra effort, I will indeed be able to stir this plot just a little bit more… like maybe three chapters and an epilogue more. 😉