Saturday, December 1, 2018

Extended Imaginary Epilogue

Courtly Scandals is set over the twelve days of Christmas. This means Mary and Charles have twelve days to find their happily ever after. While the fates (me) put them in the position to find each other and have a common goal binding them, it's hard to pave the way for them to have a viable future. Sex is easy (although it's something I have difficulty writing, especially with my kids not respecting the fact that I REALLY am working right now), it's the possibilities of what will come next that is really tricky.

I like to see the potential for success in their relationship. Marriage is tricky and the infatuation based love that comes from our innate instinct to mate and reproduce, is not a long lasting condition. This means the couple has to be able to be friends and have similar values when it comes to fidelity, honor, and the willingness to work on staying in love. This is why I have trouble suspending disbelief for the tropes of the maiden and the rake, especially if there is a broad age difference.

Personally, I write beta males that can be alpha when needed. Don't get me wrong, they're confident, strong, attractive, and smart but they are not pushy. While the man who takes what is his can be sexy in an escapist fantasy, I want a man who listens and respects the woman he loves. That sort of man would never push a woman to the point where, even though she was saying no, her body was saying yes. He would never steamroll over her dreams. It's not just about consent, it's about trust and friendship. I have a hard time visualizing alpha males being true partners as parents or supporting their wife while she deals with depression or what-have-you. The alpha is so set as himself that it would be hard to grow and change with his partner.

While I do write epilogues that give the flavor of what comes next, it would be fun to do something ten or twenty years down the road. Julia Quinn re-released some of her books with extended epilogues and I bought them even though I owned the originals (and loved them). I love seeing what happens next. Romance is so full of potential and hope--it helps promote faith in humanity to see that potential realized. Love can work if you work it and, I think, my characters can stand the test of time. For all that romance is fantasy, it's a good model for life and can help guide good choices for big decisions, even if it's not easy. There's a quote on Julia Quinn's page that says:

“In some ways, portraying a 
healthy relationship in literature
 is the most revolutionary 
thing you can do.” 

—Julia Quinn

When you read romance do you think about what comes next?

1 comment:

Susan Kane said...

I like to see the vulnerable side of the male. I want to know what came into his life to make him the man he is now. His past must issues that recur in his memory that is always there.

The man must see something in the woman that balances him.

Very good questions and thoughts. Julia Quinn has great insights.

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