Desire author Jennifer Lewis is back with us on the Pink Heart Society, talking about something we all do...and rarely admit to. It's a dirty little secret locked deep inside all writers minds...finally someone is speaking out...(now doesn't that sound dramatic?)
Very early on, I realized that many of the stories in the world needed some work.
Many stories uphold the tenets of a culture. Characters who defy convention to seek their own happiness end up miserable and alone, a cautionary tale for those who don’t want to toe the line. If the pretty milkmaid starts eyeing the master of the house, you know she’s in for a tragic ending (George Eliot’s Adam Bede). Or if the aristocratic young lady prefers a charming rake to the elderly suitor her family chose? There goes her life down the drain (Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa).
The infamous Romeo and Juliet defy their families to pursue their love—and seal their doom. I hate that! Why can’t these unconventional lovers have their happy ending? Naturally I had to rewrite the story in my head so that no one really gets poisoned and they run away and live happily ever after.
Phew! Much better.
It became a habit for me to retool endings that left me with that nasty “oh no” feeling, and rewrite them in my mind until I felt warm and fuzzy about the couple getting their happy-ever-after. Wuthering Heights, Titanic, Casablanca, Cold Mountain? No problem. Once you get into the habit of figuring out alternate endings for wonderful but ultimately tragic books and movies, it’s quite addictive.
In my current book, Black Sheep Billionaire, I had fun bringing in elements of Romeo and Juliet (two warring families with a decades-old grudge) and Wuthering Heights, (a darkly dangerous hero and the woman who once rejected him). In my book, however, rest assured that star-crossed lovers Lily and Declan are on a journey toward the happy ending they deserve.
Do you have a favorite story with a disappointing ending? Do you ever rewrite stories in your mind to suit your own needs? One person who leaves a comment will win a signed copy of Black Sheep Billionaire.
For more about Jen and her other books, be sure to check out http://www.jenlewis.com/