(Not) Breaking Up
The rewrite is finally underway. I'm still tweaking the outline as I write. Thanks to the folks who beta'd BATR Take 5's outline and gave me excellent advice. It's much better than it was, but it still needs some work to stick the ending.
One piece of advice I received: They don't have to break up/make up for a great story. Whoever wrote the song, "The Book of Love," got it wrong. In chapter four, they don't have to break up. They can have a decent conversation about relationship goals instead.
Break-ups are the worst, even when they aren't knock-down drag-out fights over taking back gifts and, "Where the fuck did you throw my class ring?" If you're in an abusive relationship, break-ups are the most dangerous time. My ex tried to kill me because he saw me moving on with my life instead of pining away, waiting for him.
If you're like me, there's no way in hell you'd get back together with someone who dumped you in a dramatic hissy-fit. (Well. No way in hell I'd do that now - once upon a time, I had very low self esteem and I believed the lie I'd never find anyone better than my abuser.) We also want our heroes to be strong. Conversations about the hard shit no one wants to talk about (like, "I want to be seen in public with you, but right now, it's a huge conflict of interest, so we're on the D-L until I find a new job") show that strength. Communicating desires and setting boundaries may seem anti-climactic, but it's the adult way to resolve conflict. Be the change you want to see in the world, right?
Don't worry - there's still a hilarious mix-up at a hotel, and the MC and love interest have a flash of ridiculous, but it's resolved quickly with a conversation. And then they can get on with the make-up sex. (Is it still make-up sex if they didn't really break up? In my personal experience, it's even better than make-up sex. All the love, none of the guilt or shame. Win-win.)