Okay, so I thought it’d be fun to work on a story with all of you guys, and to get input from a bunch of my blog readers and create a cool story. (For more on that idea, click HERE)
I still think that.
I envision a kind of writing group but also like a critique group, I guess, using everybody’s skills and input to craft something new and original.
You guys had some amazing ideas!
So far we… well, we didn’t exactly settle on a genre but we decided Romance would probably be the main theme. That’s okay. I’ve seen murder mysteries that were romances, you know? And westerns. So Romance works as a main theme…
And we liked the idea of a historical novel aspect. That really intrigued me. I did a little of that in The Water Castle and it was fun – and readers seem to like it. Done well, it’ll rock.
For me, there’s the question of the ending.
Now, you pantsers take a note here. If you have a beginning, middle, and end to your story before you start, odds are you’ll finish the story.
Heresy, I know. Hear me out.
If you get writer’s block, that may be because you don’t know where your story is supposed to go! No wonder you can’t get there! James Patterson says you get writers block because you don’t have enough research. Well, research how the freaking story ends!
Which brings me to:
- We can write a romance (with interesting sub-themes – more on that in a sec).
- We can come up with an intriguing plot.
- We can make interesting characters.
Do we want a happy ending or a sad ending???
So, in a romance you might have a boy and girl get together. Man and woman. Two girls. Two guys. Whatever. Doesn’t matter.
DO THEY ALL LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER?
Well, I’ve done that. Hollywood has done that a ton. We all like a happy ending.
But the most memorable endings have been… sad. Haven’t they?
- In Titanic, Leo dies and what’s her name remembers him forever! To her dying day! That’s love.
- In Dr. Zhvago, he doesn’t end up with Julie Christie! The love of his life! Tragic! Oh, the pain!
- In Love Story, Ryan O’Neal loses Ali Macgraw! Nooooo! She was so young and beautiful and coined that bumper sticker!
WE ALL SOB UNCONTROLLABLY – and each story goes on to be the fave movie/book of a generation!
Really, what the hell is wrong with us?
People should leave happy at the end of a movie or book.
But they sure remember a sad ending way more than a happy one. And they tell their friends how it ripped their heart out. That can’t be a bad thing. So even thought I like a happy ending, I also like a sad ending. Hmm. What to do?
Anyway, we don’t have to decide that now, but we will have to decide it eventually, for the overall book, right?
And that got me to thinking. Because I’m a planner.
If a touchdown is a big moment in a football game, and a last minute touchdown that wins the game is super awesome…
I mean, is it possible…
What if there was a way to give your story several sad endings?
Yeah, that’s right. Several. Not like alternative endings, and not like here’s the story of two or three people and we end where each of them is sad (although that’s not bad – better write that down).
What if we could have – okay, wait. Let me explain it a little.
Dr. Zhvago. He gets to be with the love of his life in the story. We readers and moviegoers are just as in love with her as he is. We love him the way she does. They’re a terrific couple. Then war and Russia and circumstance (hey, he’s married to somebody else – oops) tear them apart and he tries to do the right thing and forget her but he never does and then when he can finally be with her and it’ll all work out, he sees her in the street and jumps off the trolley and chases after her – but she doesn’t hear him and she keeps moving through the crowd and he loses her again! And then he dies!
He dies right there after seeing her! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? So close! They were almost together!
Okay, well, that was sad, right? Yeah. Go freaking watch it and not cry. I dare you.
The point is, what if we had our lovers together AND then ripped them apart? That’d be Zhvago-awesome, right?
BUT WHAT IF WE DID IT SEVERAL TIMES???
What if we made it end that horribly sad way over and over? Leo doesn’t dies in the freezing north Atlantic once but over and over? And in different genres?
Shh. Work with me for a moment. Just… what if we could?
Well, okay, but HOW?
Ha! You think I don’t know?
Do you? Think I don’t know?
Oh yeah! I may have stumbled upon the way to do it. And in doing so: we GET our romance. We GET our historical aspect. We GET A NEW, FRESH STORY IDEA.
I am talking about toe-curling passion that every reader is going to love, then an amazing story arc that is absolutely going to blow your minds.
Tune in Thursday to see.
It’ll be awesome, though, trust me.
See how good collaboration already is? You guys are so smart, throwing ideas out there and then letting me stew on them, and now I think it’s starting to come together. This is gonna be SO awesome. I can hardly wait to tell you. But I will. Wait, that is. See ya Thursday.
Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the amazingly great sci fi action thriller “The Navigators.” Click HERE to get your copy of The Navigators – FREE on Kindle Unlimited!