For most of my love stories, I began by imagining the couple. What makes them right for each other and how can I get them together? I usually change my mind about a lot of things in the early stages. I’ve given characters different names and different jobs and added siblings. I’ve decided that what I thought was a good idea was actually a bad, bad, horrible direction for the plot because no one would ever do such a thing in real life.
But I have never changed my mind about who was going to end up together.
My current project, which I have almost officially decided to call Collecting Zebras, was the first time I even considered it. The heroine for this one is named Angel Melling. She is my most… let’s say “aggressive” heroine to date. I’ve written several leading ladies who were not exactly looking for love and at least one actively avoiding it. This sort of limits the guys in the story. Angel, however, is on a mission. She’s pulling more guys into her story and she’s looking at every single one of them for husband potential. And so was I.
This was where my slightly hopeless nature began to get in the way. I found myself wishing I could pick more than one guy for her. It was the first time I felt bad for guys who weren’t a good match. I wrote one possible love interest out altogether because I envisioned too much awkwardness. I kept another in the storyline longer than I originally intended because I needed more time to discount his long-term potential. And I had to resist a strong urge to add another female character so things could work out well for everyone.
In the end I had to remind myself that this was Angel’s story. I only needed to make sure she got the happily ever after. I still feel bad about at least one guy though. This is me going on record to say that anyone who reads my book has permission to imagine a happy ending for anyone who doesn’t get one in the story. I may have even slipped in a hint in that direction.