I love making my characters suffer. Must be a sign of a deep-seated personality disorder, cause I love to get my hero or heroine into a real emotional crisis. Then, when they are truly miserable, I try to twist the knife one more time. I mean, I know there’s an HEA out there somewhere, but I wanna make ’em work for it.
Poor Cassie, the heroine of my recently-completed Chick Lit, gets put through some real uncomfortable changes. She is in a relationship with Mr. Right, but as they say, she didn’t realize his first name is “Always.” In order to hold onto this guy, she makes one decision after another, each time letting go of a little bit of herself. Finally, she comes to a point where she has to decide: “I’ll do anything for love, but I won’t do that.”
I got that idea from the old rock song of the same title (hereinafter IDAFLBIWDT) by the one and only Marvin Aday, aka Meat Loaf. I admit, Mr. Loaf’s songs are overblown, cheesy, and all the things people say about them. But in their astounding pomposity, they have an emotional appeal.
A lot of people kind of half listen to
IDAFLBIWDT, and think that Mr. Loaf was talking about some kinky thing he won’t do, even for love. He claims that the most common question he is asked is “What is ‘that’?” In an episode of “Pop Up Video,” VH-1 said that no one has ever identified what Meat Loaf won’t do.
But really, the song lists the things he will and won’t do.
The things he says he will never do are:
1. Forget the way you feel right now
2. forgive myself if we don’t go all the way tonight
3. do it better than I do it with you, and
4. Stop dreaming of you every night of my life
Then, the female backup singer says there are two other things that he will do: “You’ll see that it’s time to move on” and “You’ll be screwing around”. He promises her: “I won’t do that!”
It’s really a kind of noble and beautiful thought, that even for love, the hero won’t do something to betray the heroine.
But for Cassie, I went more with the popular but incorrect interpretation: I’ll do anything to keep you, but even I have to draw the line somewhere. It just takes her a long time to get to that point.