L’histoire, c’est fini

Whoa. I posted the final chapter of Rhythm and the Blue Line today, and let me just say that although my readers and I were on the same written page, they had more of them in mind than I did. Here are the comments at Literotica, if you’d like to browse them (sorry, no other public comments available).

First off, I’d like to thank everyone who posted. Positive or not, it means a lot that you read the story all the way through, especially given the long lag between chapters eight and nine. Also, I believe that I must have done something right if people get riled up.

The overriding complaint is the need for an epilogue; people feel that lines were left untied. Specifically, readers maintain that three issues remain unresolved: Ryan and her father, the success of Imaginary Grace, and the permanency of Ryan and Brody’s relationship. Now, I don’t exactly mean to defend myself, but what the heck — it’s my blog.

One at a time. Ryan and her father — this is about as resolved as it’s going to get. I never intended to have Ryan and her father reconcile. For one thing, that doesn’t always happen. For another — anyone can do that. I wanted to leave it like that; I wanted Ryan to be on her own, to keep going on her own. She’s gone this far, after all. One commenter asked: “Do you seriously mean to say that it just took one shouting match with her dad to get over years worth of misery and insecurities?”

Ah, no. I never said that. I never said whether Ryan was in fact miserable or insecure, and I don’t think a person would get as far as Ryan has if she was that hung up on what her parents might say. Ryan has been building her life on her own for years, despite what they’ve said to her and their lack of support. And does this line, from ch 9, spoken by Ryan to her father not provide a little finality? “Too damn bad, because I’m fucking finished with you!”

There was really nowhere else to go after that.

Next problem: the success of Imaginary Grace. Many readers wanted me to continue on and describe the band’s continued rise to the top of the music hill. Mostly they wanted this, and I can sympathize, because they wanted to rub Ryan’s dad’s nose in it. 🙂 Some also wanted it as a tool for her family to reconcile. Going back to above, that wasn’t going to happen. Also, the band’s success wasn’t quite the point. Don’t get me wrong — in my head, they’re the next big thing. But I think following the band up this road would have resulted in a fair bit of repetition, and that bogs a story down.

On to the last looming issue: Ryan and Brody and what happens next. Many, many readers wanted an engagement between our brave heroes. Well, I can’t apologize for that. It wouldn’t work. They are by no means ready to get engaged or married. After all the issues they’ve had, the way they’ve had a hard time trusting themselves and their feelings — moving in is a big step towards marriage, but they are not ready to jump that far right now.

I realize that readers expect certain things out of a romance and that I didn’t deliver that. I can’t apologize for that. I don’t write stories in order to stick to a formula or outline. I do with the basics, I can’t deny — I have the couple meet, fall in love, have trouble, make up. I don’t always (I hope) do it the same way, because that’d be boring. At least for me, and I’d think for you, to a point.

So as often happens, I wrote the story I wanted to tell, which wasn’t always what the readers expected, or even wanted. Still, I hope overall people enjoyed it, because that’s the other thing I aim for.

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13 responses to this post.

  1. I wanted to say I greatly enjoyed your story. I am one of the people who was rather happy you didn’t tie everything up in a neat little bow. As the ending was creeping up, all I could think was, “I hope she doesn’t write that they get engaged”. I personally felt they were no where near ready for that and was happy to see you write it that way.

    You know I have been a big fan of yours for a while. I am always itching to read the next thing you will come out with. You usually hit all the right notes for me when it comes to a good romance story. Thanks for taking the time to finish the story and not leave it in limbo.

    Reply

    • Thanks, Amanda. 🙂 Engagement, etc., was never on my radar for this story and I think I’ve yet to write a story that involves the main characters getting married or engaged (not counting were stories with the mating theme). I guess the obstacle I find I want to deal mostly with is people taking that chance on saying I love you.

      Reply

  2. Posted by Brittany on July 10, 2012 at 10:53 am

    I’ve really enjoyed all of your stories that I have been able to get my hands on (both free and purchased) and while initially I was a little sad that there wouldn’t be an epilogue, it was more because I have really enjoyed the characters and the world you created for them, and just didn’t want the story to end in general. I appreciate that not everyone has everything wrapped up nice and neat into a prepackaged form, and I can not wait to read whatever you come up with next. Thank you for all the time you take to write these stories 🙂

    Reply

    • Brittany, thank you and you’re welcome. I write these stories because the ideas kind of get in my head and won’t go away,and I write what I want to happen. I hope that others will enjoy the ride.

      Reply

  3. Posted by Susan on July 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I enjoyed R&B more so at least I think because it was very realistic. Real life is complex and complicated and never neat and tidy. I felt moving in together was the next big step and considering their lack of communication and misunderstandings it’s a huge commitment. I was disappointed that there won’t be an epilogue only because I hate to say good bye to old friends. Hopefully we’ll catch glimpses of them in future stories.

    My big question is the purple rabbit. Did you intend for the readers to immediately think of the vibrator variety or was that just my dirty mind that leapt to that conclusion? I have to say whether it was intention or unintentional it put a huge smile on my face as I finished reading a very enjoyable story!

    Reply

    • Thanks, Susan. 🙂 Ah, the rabbit. I can’t say i intentionally meant for that inference, but I think it’s pretty funny myself. I had written a scene, which I eventually cut, in which Lara and Ryan joke about a “purple rabbit.” And I meant that kind of rabbit. Pity it didn’t work. Perhaps I should release a file of “outtakes.” Haha.

      Reply

  4. Posted by Lady Falcon on July 10, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Ok, getting my thoughts in order. I understand what you are saying about your intentions for this story and these characters. I agree they aren’t ready to be engaged. I agree Ryan and her dad would probably never really reconcile.

    However, the characters were so good and the story so…there… that I wanted to see more of Ryan and her inner dialogue on her thoughts and feelings about her relationship with her dad and mom and brothers. No matter how much you feel left behind or not thought worthy and no matter how strong you have become and how successful you are there is still a small part of you that hurts when something crosses your mind or you see something that reminds you of what you missed (watching Bax and his wife with their kids at the dinner party).

    I guess I wanted to see more of Ryan so I could roll in her strength and courage and get that proud in awe feeling that real mom’s get when they see their baby do something awesome. lol Does any of that make sense?

    And yes, I want an epilogue a year or two in the future…together or not I want to see where Ryan is at in her life and career is a small portion of that…I mostly want to see how her younger brother is doing with his rebellion and if her mom finally stood up as her own person…I don’t think there is much of a chance of anything new from her dad and the other brother but, I’d like to see how the others are doing.

    Yeah, it would be cool if Brody and Ryan are still together and I do like it when the team and the wives are together at a game or at someone’s house. Maybe Brody and Ryan can host a Christmas party or something two years from now and Bax announces his retirement and maybe the band has gotten a nomination for “Best New Artist” at the Grammy’s. lol…that would be an awesome party!

    Reply

    • Oh, not “best new artist!” It’s the kiss of death! Haha. Although honestly, I’m not sure I could name a best new artist at all, let alone one that went on to bigger and better things.

      I am flattered and grateful that everyone loved the characters. I enjoyed them myself, but the story was just done.

      For all the other little story lines — you should imagine happy resolutions to them all. I do. 😀

      Reply

      • Posted by Lady Falcon on July 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm

        But a traditional happy ever after was not the point of this story…from the beginning you’ve said you wanted reality. lol….I’m just playing devil’s advocate…I love conversation and I really enjoy reading your stuff. I hope you can figure away to publish again.

  5. Posted by reeeeeesha on July 14, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    hahahaha, i got quoted. Ah well, if i can’t get quoted for my wit, i can at least get quoted for my stupidity.
    But you know, my main issue with the story was the lack of interactions between the characters. your stories have soooo many cute moments, this was just disappointing. I mean, all of your readers know you could have done a lot better.

    Sorry if my disappointment came on too strongly. 🙂 :/

    Reply

    • Actually, I’d disagree about “all of my readers.” Plenty of them liked the story the way it is. I wish everyone felt that way, of course, but that doesn’t happen and that’s fine. All I can say is that for those that didn’t like the ending, you should do what my English prof in high school said: write the story you wanted to read. That’s what motivates a lot of writers, especially in erotica, I think. I.e., the stuff that turns them on is not there, so they write it themselves.

      You mention the characters, and perhaps you wrote the comment (sorry, can’t recall — that’s the problem with anonymous comments) wishing there’d been more interaction between Ryan and the other players wives/girlfriends. The problem there is that many of those were not my characters. I “borrowed” them from MugsyB, and it was fun. Really, only Sara was “mine.” Also consider: Ryan is not a big hockey fan; she will not attend a lot of games. She has her own group of friends and her own goals that prevent her attending a lot of games.

      I appreciate, I do, that you enjoy those parts of the story. They just weren’t central to the story I was writing.

      Reply

  6. Posted by reeeeeesha on July 14, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    hahahaha, I got quoted. Ah well, if I can’t get quoted for my wit, I can at least get quoted for my stupidity.
    But you know, my main issue with the story was the lack of interactions between the characters in the last chapters. Normally your stories have soooo many cute moments that this one was just disappointing. I mean, all of your readers know you could have done a lot better.

    Sorry if my disappointment came on too strong. 🙂 :/

    Reply

  7. […] biggest backlash came with the conclusion to Rhythm and the Blue Line. Many, many readers wanted (as I wrote a few weeks ago) something different. They wanted Ryan and Brody engaged if not married and they wanted […]

    Reply

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