Mom loves romances. I don’t write that genre. Though I don’t mind a good romance once in a while, I am past that age where I swoon over the hero’s gorgeous looks and sigh every time the hero/heroine come near for a liplock.
She loves simple stories with less characters. For me unless there are 35 to 45 characters in my manuscripts I feel lonely. Writing Middle Grade Fiction based in schools makes it easy to add so many characters. Too many characters and mom loses track of them. She has to keep going back to refresh her memory.
Mom loves Happily Ever After. I really don’t care who dies at the end of a book. I just love a good story. But if my reader is anything like my mother, then God forbid if my story has an unhappy ending. That would be sacrilege, a violation of rights. How could I do that to her? She has taken out time to read my book and I cheated her by depriving her of a happy ending! How could I? How dare I?
She loves a clear ending. Many of the endings of my short stories are ambiguous and left to the readers’ imagination and she has often cribbed that she was confused by them.
She hates heavy doses of love scenes. Fortunately for me, MG fiction really doesn’t give me a chance to explore that area. I will have to think of that when I write a novel.
Mom has cursed authors who have belittled their countries. Several award winning authors have met her disapproval for running down our motherland and showing us in a bad light. I agree. I would hate to run down my country just so that some publishers publishes my work.
If the story tugs mom’s heart strings and plays with her emotionally then she will rave about the book to everyone she meets. The writer can and should hire her to market the book as you just cannot get a better publicist than mom.
Strong and well rounded characters with an inherent sense of honesty, loyalty and dignity who abide by truth and decency win her over. She loves to see the moral fibre in her characters.
Characters who love and respect not just their elders, but every human they come across meet her approval. My characters are all brats. Who play pranks on their loved ones. Mom sure won’t be rooting for them.
If I were to write with my mom in mind, I would have to create a super virtous character, who has absolutely no or very few vices, who has never harmed anyone not even a mosquito, and who can be called an angel.
What about you all? If you were to write with a loved one sitting beside you and subtly guiding you, what are the things you would avoid in your manuscripts? What are the things you would be adding to the character and story? Please share, it will be fun to read the way your loved ones guide your writing.
PS: Mom very graciously allowed me to upload one of her favourite pictures of her and Dad.