Dita Parker

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Brothers Grim

Once upon a time, in a galaxy not that far away, there will be a very serious man and a very serious woman. So serious about what they're doing that when my life got very serious indeed, I seriously doubted my ability to see to their HEA for a while. 

It was really not that bad of a situation. It was worse. You see, it's not them I started writing about when I first paid a visit to their particular place and time, or it paid me one, it was another serious dude. Serious about his life and his duties, and committed to a woman he had never met but knew he would one day have by his side. His problem: He didn't know when and where. Mine: I didn't either. 

But: I did know the world and people around him. I saw his family much more clearly than I saw him, but when two more serious men stepped into the story, I said get outta here. Literally, go and get your own story, which was of course the wrong thing to say because that was exactly what they wanted. 

They argued a strong case. Presented me with their given circumstances (what I talked about in my last post, remember? What do you mean "No"?), promised to be worth my time and effort, lured me with the individual quandaries they were in knowing full well I would not be able to resist coming to their rescue. 

I told you it gets worse before it gets better. But come on. Three brothers. Really? What is it with these unholy trinities? All that was missing was bosoms a-heaving, mighty shafts a-swinging and the foul stench of Eau de Sequel and I'd be all set. I told them to get lost and let me concentrate on the serious gentleman in search of the woman of his dreams. 

It gets worse. These two guys knew that story wasn't ripe yet, that Mr. Serious and I needed some more time, but, as I was informed, they would be happy to keep me company. It's not as if anything bad could happen, right? As in, I set things in stone I can't change later even if I wanted to. As in, the aroma of those other stories gets too strong and I don't notice it even while I detest that smell. As in, I invest time in three stories without any guarantee Ellora's Cave or anyone else for that matter wants a single one of them.

It gets worse still. I like writing genre with a touch of humor; I like my characters to have a sense of humor, to see the lighter side of maybe a not so ha-ha funny situation. But during a winter when life became less about ha-ha and more about sad smiles, these men, these men who were by no means boring or uninteresting, only...serious... Their company became too much to bear.

I knew I was in trouble when I started calling them The Brothers Grim. I was being harsh, I was being unfair, and I was absolutely evading my responsibilities to my characters the moment I started writing something lighter, something shorter, something with a touch of funny just to get away from them for a while.

I've sent out that Quickie. I'm about to send out the first story of my Brothers Grim, the youngest of them, who I thought might go last and who ended up going first. No bosoms a-heaving, no mighty shafts a-swinging and, I hope, with such a faint odor of that Eau de Sequel you'll agree, if and when those stories come out, they're not sequels but equals. That's how I'm treating and writing those Righteous Brothers. Distinct and able to stand alone.

If you know you will not be coming back, don't step out in the middle of a story. If time is precious and publication the only goal, maybe it's wiser to tackle your stories one at a time. If you need to know the whole arc and every aspect of whatever you're planning on writing, don't do what I did. 

But if those worlds and characters fascinate you enough, call to you so loud and clear and unrelenting that you can't wait to find out how it plays out; that you know a breather is just a breather, things will only get better with some time and distance; that you're not leaving them for good and never would... Ah, you know what to do.

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