Feckless Fate

Authors have a choice between Fate and Suspense

Yawn

Into his or her arms she or he runs. Their love has overcome every obstacle—every racist or homophobe or job offer in Houston—to bring them back to each other, where we all know they should be. Fate is victorious again.

And that’s exactly the problem.

sundays-at-tiffanys

Alyssa Milano stops her wedding to be with her perfect love—her imaginary friend—in James Patterson’s Sundays at Tiffany’s

There are so many familiar tropes in romance fiction: the race to the airport, or the interrupted wedding. The last-minute defiance of a controlling parent to be with a lover who means so much more. All of these are fun, but even variations of them are predictable, because the characters acting them out are running their race over a generic green-screen called Fate.

And relying on Fate is a sure way to remove a key element of a story’s conflict: suspense. Continue reading