After reading a handful of reviews for my short story A GLIMMER OF HOPE, it left me with a warm and fuzzy feeling (kind of like when I read the ending of my story). However, a few critics who I was expecting to weigh in did not, and needless to say that it got me more than a little bit worried. So what do I do when something’s bothering me? Call them out on it.After doing so, I received much of the same response. The story was intriguing to a point, until it wasn’t.
The turn of their interest was always right when you learn that Connor is not going to kill Jessica, rather he proposes marriage. What I learned was that those people would never enjoy a sap sucking super romance, which is exactly what I love to write.To prove my skill and show those people I can write for them too, I plotted out two different alternate endings for that same story; one ending with a tragedy and the other more of a romantic suspense. I actually put my pen to paper to kill off my Connor with a dreadful car accident… but I just couldn’t do it. Even with the other alternate ending, wherein a handsome emergency worker was going to save Jessica before she was buried beneath the depths of the frozen lake in her car, I just couldn’t do it.
My character, Connor, is the hero. It almost hurt to paint him any other way. I just couldn’t turn him into a stalker or psycho ex-boyfriend from hell. It just wasn’t right. Having him dig his hand gun into Jessica’s ribs made me sad, like I was burying Jessica’s fiance and reincarnating the devil’s brother.
What I learned after plotting out the alternate endings is that I am a contemporary romance author at heart. My writing ranges from gush-worthy super romance to playful contmporary romance with the occassional paranormal twist (when I feel like spicing things up). For that reason alone, those alternate endings will never see the light of day. I may even put them through the shredder just for the fun of it. Sure I could write that other stuff, if I wanted to; but I don’t like to and I don’t want to. Honestly, it felt too much like work. Until next time, I’ll leave those other genres for the writers specializing in the area. If there is a next time -and I’m sure there will be- I’ll have to remember to use a fresh set of characters who I’m not already emotionally attached to.
I write because I enjoy writing. I now realize that you can’t make everyone happy. Ultimately romance is the genre for me. It’s what I read. It’s what I write. And doesn’t everyone deserve their happy ever after?