revising, writing

What Desperate Housewives taught me about my novel…

In case you’re not a Desperate Housewives fan, you do not know that they killed off Mike Delfino. You may be going “Say who?” so here is a little recap: Mike Delfino has been Susan’s love interest since season 1 – they had their ups and downs (a lot of downs) but they found each other (several times) and were finally on a somewhat stable and happy spot.

Mike held a special part in my “Desperate Housewives” fan heart. Not only does he have these rugged good looks which I totally see on my husband, he was supportive, nice, could be funny at times and he protected people.

And then pfff, Mike is shot dead. 5 episodes until the finale and he’s gone, protecting Susan of course. This didn’t make me happy at all (understatement of the week :D) even though my hubby did remind me: “you know the actor is still alive, right?”.

 So what did this little episode teach me about my work-in-progress:

  • It’s ok to be even meaner to my characters while I revise.
  • Even if I get attached to my characters, the unexpected can happen (especially if they put themselves in a dangerous situation)… I cannot hold it off because it may make me sad.

And it reminded me something important:

  • Include a bang, one which will make the readers go: “oh no he/she didn’t”.  Characters may die or survive, they may lose someone close to them or get their heart broken  but they will go through something. When they do, I’d like my readers to dab their eyes, to scream at me for putting them through it, to cry (if they cry). It sounds a bit Cruella Devil to say that but let’s face it, if the readers do go through this while reading one of my novels, I’ve done my job as an author.

Have you ever watched something which reminded me of what you need to do in your novel?