When the good get jilted

It's Valentine's Week!!! If ever there was a holiday to celebrate for a week, it should be Valentine's. Your family is obligated to be nice to you. People are on a sugar-high. Red and pink and purple and chocolate abound. Happy, shiny people holding hands. That's Valentine's week.

What? Not so much, eh? Your kids gave you the card and moved on, your spouse made you dinner and fogot to do the dishes, and your dog did exactly the same thing your dog does every day????


Let's put this in terms of writing, shall we? yes, we shall, besides, it's our blog and we say so. We love our characters and want the best for all of them. At least, I (erica) do. I want the cute but misunderstood girl to get the cute but misunderstood guy and live happily ever after. I want the funny girl to get the funny guy and the insert-any-quality-you-want girl to get the whatever-she-wants guy. I'm not ashamed to say it. I want my characters to get what they want. (ooh, i refrained from shouting there. aren't you proud of me?)

Does this happen in every book? Well, some would say - yes, it does, and way too often (especially in romance, including YA). Characters are two peas in a pod. Peanut butter and jelly. SpongeBob and Patrick. The model for "you complete me." Perfection.

Darn it, perfection does not exist in the real world and the thought should not be entertained by us mere-mortal-writers (this is what i've been told)!!! People get jilted. And darn it, some characters should, too. Valentine's week or not. (insert erica's sad face here)

So, my thought (for now) is that I can't do it. Can my character be slightly jilted by the out-of-her/his-league possiblity? Sure. But can one of them show up at the top of the Empire State Building to find that his/her love interest didn't show up?? No. Can't do it. Nope. No happily never after for this girl. Call me Meg Ryan, but man, I love love.

What about you?? Can you leave your first love (character) jilted? Why did you do it and what can I learn from you? Or, hey, did you just learn from me? (er...)


  1. Good post ladies (I'm a new follower:) You know, I write YA fiction and I have to say, I'm not a fan of the pretty ending, where everything is wrapped up neatly with a bow. I do like some degree of closure, but does it always have to be ideal? Nope, not for me anyway. As you said, the real world isn't ideal and we don't always get what we want. I wanted chocolates for v-day and instead got 2 out of 3 sick kids LOL! NIce post and glad I found you:)

  2. I've never really thought about it, but I guess I don't have that problem. In my current WIP the girl can't get the guy and she just has to live with it. But in the ms I'm querying - well, that's another story.

    Nice post, you hopeless romantic!

  3. In the end, my guy does get jilted, in a way, but he's okay with it. So it's not technically a happy ending, but at least it's not a sappy ending, you know?

    And watch your back, Hart, I'm coming for you next (#39!)

  4. I think it depends on the genre- there are reader expectation writers should take into consideration- because if you want to published author- your audience is readers. So if you write a romance- they expect happily ever after or something close to it.
    If you write horror- audience might expect one person to atleast kill the monster, or make it home alive, or die as the monster dies.

    If you write sci-fi there is an expectation of ships-

    So really genre is important- then your audience is important-

    Comedy doesn't really have to end in happy ever after- just has to end on a fun note- or something the audience can appreciate.

  5. I'm working on the 4th in my series and I'm seriously considering doing something that will completely and utterly crush my main character. I DO NOT want to do it, but I think it might be the best thing to do. :-(

  6. I don't know, I've come to the point in my writing (read: life) where I want my characters to be okay if they don't find the perfect guy, the perfect job, or the perfect ensemble. So far, none of them get the guy, but they all find some kind of peace. Corny?
    The Middle Ages

  7. Hmm... this is such a good question. I haven't gotten a character jilted yet, but it might be coming in one of the sequels.

    And I have an awesome reason for it.


  8. I'm a fellow crusader. I already KNOW I love your blog, because you have my writing partner's book on your sidebar. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. Nice to meet you. :)

    I learned from you. *wink*

  9. This is one of the reasons I write picture books! Happy endings are practically mandatory. I want happy, happy, happy!

  10. Well, Erica,

    You haven't read enough of my new novel, but yes, poor, blinded Danny, lost his love, Tanya, to Aidan. Tanya can't handle his blindness so she hides her feelings for Danny by chasing Aidan. Of course, poor Danny on top of his own personal trauma's most likely looses the girl he loves. Who know what will happen in the sequel. I'm curious to find out myself.


    Hey, Mike,

    I give you lots of credit for trying....

  11. I must admit, while I love romance I'm a bit of a realist. One of my characters in one of my novels does get jilted but I'm not telling which one! To be honest, with love triangles in a few of my novels, I guess more than one gets jilted!

  12. I'm even worse than you. Not only do I not want my characters to get jilted, I don't want anything bad to happen to them! This does not make for good conflict and interesting reading - hence my difficulty with MG/YA. I'm still stuck in picture book land :)

  13. Oh yes, I'm a sucker for a happy ending too, I just hope the middle keeps people guessing whether or not it will be happy.

  14. Good point about genres being different, but I still say they should end well - the monsters should be eradicated, the stolen items found and returned, and the guy on the ship to finally find the planet they're headed toward... (I told you I was hopeless!!)

  15. I like happy endings, so no permanent jilts here :)

  16. Hi fellow YA Crusader! I love your blog!

  17. What if my MC gets her heart broken, then someone even better and completely unexpected comes along? Is that a sufficient best of both worlds? Because I love love, too.

  18. I really love the candle and mauve background, it's SO romantic. <3 I leave many of my MCs jilted. Lol. It think it's okay to do so, not everyone can have what they want, but then again, I'd have to write it ingeniously so as to not put out my readers!

    Great post, fellow crusader!

    ♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥


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