Writing That Less Than Perfect HEA

Red broken hearts and black blot

Guest Blogger: Janice Ross

I remember growing up with the likes of: Girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice…Boys are made of fishes and snails and puppy dog tails. Yeah right! Sadly, we were reared to believe the hype and that everything was either good or bad.

I’m sorry to break the news but life is not so cut and dry. If you are still one of the ones that have fallen into that pit of lies, please stop here and do not continue. However, if you can relate, then please continue.

Firstly, let’s take a look at HEA (Happily Ever After). Many people want to achieve this in life, both personally and within their stories. There was a point in time where I believed that no matter what stage we reached in life, the HEA was highly attainable.

No matter what someone might’ve done, they would have a picket-fence ending and receive all that their heart desired. I believe we do ourselves a severe injustice when we bypass the “what ifs” and curve ball that might catch us off guard. Moreover, life is a constant process in which we are meant to continually grow.

One of my titles focuses on this Not-So-Happily Ever After mentality. It’s titled Loving Nate. It is about a young woman named Leah that falls in love with a man that she believes is perfect. Leah is so caught up in this perfection and wanting that ultimate relationship that she does not even realize she is being played like a banjo.

In this novella, I utilize first person present tense to get into the mind of the female character and am able to allow readers to totally experience all that she goes through. Readers can fall in lust and love, and eventually follow Leah into total heartbreak.

When the novella runs out and Leah is forced to make a decision, I offer two very different analogies. Might I add that the alternates are not quite what readers would expect especially the second of the two. My purpose in doing so is to show that there is more than one way to look at the longed for Happily Ever After scenario. Sometimes, HEA could mean breaking free and being able to achieve a sense of self worth.


About the Writer

janice photo

Janice Ross, the author of several novels, was born in Guyana, South America, before migrating to the United States in 1980.  She enjoys Zumba, kickboxing, and most exercise classes. When she’s not pushing her physical limits, Janice spends time working on her craft as well as lending a hand to other aspiring writers. You can find out more about Janice at Janice Ross