I’ve been writing fan fiction for about three years now and publishing for about two. With ten published works, and too many fan fictions to count, I know that I can make decisions when it comes to plots, but with my most current work, Milk Money, I am struggling.
Typically when I write a story, I develop the plot as I go along. I get to know the characters, as if they were real in my mind and engage them in conversation. They talk to me and tell me their story, little by little. As they “speak” I can see their tale, like a movie in my mind. I watch the movie over and over and write it down. On rare occasions, I have deviated from what the characters have told me only to find a few chapters later that things aren’t making sense. Often I have to go back and scrap those deviated chapters and get back on track.
This has worked for me until recently. I am at a place in the story Milk Money where the paternity of Charlie is in question. I have asked the characters who the father is, which way the story is supposed to go, but it seems no one is talking. While I realize that sentence may well be used as evidence in a competency hearing to determine my level of sanity, the fact that the voices in my head aren’t speaking to me should count for something. Irregardless of my sanity, I find myself in a unique position. I, as the author, do not know what happens next.
This is when I’m going to turn to my readers, who have kept me moving through this tale as I’ve released this story bit by bit to my website and on two other fan fiction sites. I can not promise that this will be a fair vote, as I still have to do what I think is right by the characters, and if at some point, one of them speaks up and tells me what happens, I do have to go with that, but in the mean time, I’d like to hear what readers think.
The Problem In a Nutshell
Anyone who had read Milk Money would agree that Tanya is a terrible mother and that Edward is a wonderful father to Charlie. People would also likely agree that Bella has made a terrific caregiver for Charlie, literally nursing him back to health. Most would say that Charlie, though only a few months old would identify Bella as his mother more than Tanya, whom he doesn’t even know. This brings to question, how important is biology? Do you have to be related by blood to be a parent?
When Tanya’s affair came to light, Charlie’s paternity came into question. I feel that I have three options when it comes to resolving the paternity issue.
Option 1 – Edward is the father
This to me would be the most logical, easiest option. Edward loves Charlie and he’s been a wonderful father. If he married Bella, the four of them would just be a natural family. The drawback is that I think that it’s very predictable.
Option 2 – Edward is NOT the father
Edward states in the story that he doesn’t care who Charlie’s biological father is. He wants him regardless. It would show that it’s love that makes a family and not biology. It would also allow Bella to carry Edward’s first child. The drawback, Charlie isn’t related to either Bella nor Edward.
Option 3 – We never know
At this point in the story, the paternity isn’t in question. Edward has full custody regardless of biology. It could remain a mystery. The drawback, I don’t usually leave things unresolved.
What do you think?
I’d like to hear what you think. You can comment below on which option you’d like. Give me some reasons as to your choice. I am looking for compelling arguments. I will post some of my favorites in my next shout out. If you’re not subscribed, you can go to www.njcoleauthor.com and subscribe.