Four posts ago I proclaimed myself a love cynic. (Well, then I sort-of took it back two sentences later.) Eleven posts ago, I promised a love story. And, in both posts, I claimed that I was working on one. Well… Well… It hasn’t come easily.
A good friend, after reading the last short story that I finished, a story about unrequited love, gave me the feedback that my female protagonist had no redeeming qualities, that she was unlikable, and that one could not possibly see how she would ever break the chains of her patheticness (not a word) to become a woman with a successful career, a husband, and children. Considering that all of my female protagonists are linked somehow to some facet of myself, this one stung. A bit. So, I revisited the story and tried to give her a little oomph. (Since I’m full of all manner of oomph, I thought this should be easy.) And, I managed. I think. But, in the end, I also decided that not all protagonists have to be likeable. Not everyone manages to overcome their patheticness. Sometimes, people are failures in the world of women and men and women and women and men and men and so on and so forth. That’s just the truth of it.
Still, and I reread this story again yesterday, I have to ask myself why I am so focused on the shadow sides of romance. And, on relative youngsters. (The two main characters in the story are in their early 20s.) My own relational immaturity must really shine through in my work. I wonder if I am stuck still trying to work through the kinks of my young adult relationships and have yet to fully mature. How embarrassing!