Sunday, November 20, 2011

A request for help

Hello my lovely readers. What would you find to be a satisfactory ending to a completely fictional not based on reality at all novel about a woman with mean in-laws who somehow created the wonderful man who is her husband?

The gist of the story is that in-laws meet prospective daughter in law, don't like her even before they meet her, make no effort to know or like her and never give her lunch when she visits.

They send horrible presents and yell at their grandkids for eating the white meat at Thanksgiving. DIL stands up to FIL (to be) when he is mean to his granddaughter. DIL realizes FIL is just a big bully and she is no longer scared of him. She still thinks he's a jerk, though.

They tell their son two weeks before the wedding that they are not coming. If you've read from the start of this blog, you know all this. Their son says if they don't come, they'll never get to see their grandchild - much to the son's surprise and the future DIL's surprise, she is pregnant. They are OLD, people, so it is a huge surprise. You might as well call them Sarah and Abraham.

In laws grudgingly come to the wedding and eat all of son and DIL's good cheese during their 9 day stay with son and DIL, even though they claim to be lactose intolerant. They get drunk at the wedding supper. Meanwhile, DIL has a miscarriage while they are there.

But son and DIL survive in laws and they leave, never, one hopes, to return. Son tells DIL on their wedding night that his parents will never live with them.

Months later, son stands up to parents when they get upset that he is not planning to go to their house for Christmas, tell him he is "abandoning" them and that he is a "bad son." Son tells parents he is not going to take that kind of talk any more and that they can go to hell. (Or something like that.)

Son and DIL live happily ever after.

That's what I have. Well, I have 224 pages of this story in far greater detail. But I need feedback on the proposed ending. (Son standing up to parents.)

Jen on the Edge and I have already decided that a fiery crash killing in laws would not work.

For those of you who have read the whole Sly and Doris saga from the start, what would you like to happen to wrap this up?

I thank you for your feedback.

17 comments:

  1. A lightning bolt? Or have all forms of conflagration been ruled out?

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  2. Ha! No, no death. No strokes, no cancer, no illness - that would actually complicate m- the character's life, not make it easier.

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  3. And as Rubi has not linked to it, here is her blog: http://rubiatonta.wordpress.com/

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  4. (Sorry, I'm link-lexic.)

    What if they got an offer to colonize a different planet? Many light years away?

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  5. Hi, the son and daughter in-laws lead the way to a better relationship. They read the Anatomy of Peace by the Arbinger Institute and figure out a way to stop the collusion the parents started.

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  6. I read your posts with interest. It amuses me to see similarities of attitudes of both parties (of in laws)despite spatial distance and cultural differences. As for ending your write up, I dont favour abrupt or artificial removal of in laws from the scene. (I & wife are parents in law, living with pur only son & DIL.) In our scenario we are some how coping with each other; DIL waiting for our time to come and we, hoping her to come to terms with us. I believe its universal phenomena. So enjoy while it is on, till you become a MIL. BTW there's been a tele play in India that was titled, appropriately, "MIL has also once, been a DIL". Good Luck.

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  7. Algonzalez, I will have to look at that book. I will say, however, that when the in-laws tell the son that they dislike the DIL's mother, that they were right to dislike DIL from the very beginning, and that she is a castrating bitch, there might not be a lot of hope for the relationship.

    Jamil Ahmed, I guess relationships between in laws and children and children's spouses is an experience that crosses borders. I like that saying, "MIL was also DIL." I have many friends who say that their MILs were not nice to them but that they go out of their way to be nice to their DILs because they want a good relationship.

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  8. Hi there, I have an idea that you might like but it's a bit long for a comment ..... do you have an email I can write to? Enjoyed reading your blog, btw!

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  9. How about you diverge from fact and create a fantasy (yet plausible) ending?

    I like the suggestions re "MIL was also DIL."

    You could compose a cathartic ending where the dastardly MIL breaks down and confides to you a horrific or traumatic episode that somehow eclipses all your bad episodes with her, explains why she is like that and also serves to bond you closer to her in the future via this shared and confidential info.

    It is a novel, after all.

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  10. Pauline, you crack me up! I loved your other comments, too. I have to think of what could be traumatic enough that the reader will forgive Doris.

    You know what I thought when I first read "MIL was also DIL?" Chinatown and "my sister! my daughter!"

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  11. Can you have a dragon eat them?

    I cannot wait to read this book.

    IvyKllr

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    1. Ha! After he sautes them with a hot burst of flame!

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  12. Son learns to use the phrase "I'm sorry you don't see it the same way," or "I'm sorry, but I can't agree," in self-defense to their irrational expectations. They resent this bitterly, and of course blame That Woman for turning him against them. They make less frequent, but more outrageous demands, justifying them on the basis of all the other demands that Son has rebuffed. Son continues to suffer, basically the same as always.

    The PIL become older, he physically frail/disabled, she increasingly senile. They move into assisted living with massive resistance and resentment b/c they expect Son and DIL to take them in and care for them in person. Every time their son calls or visits them, he gets flak for this as well as a litany of complaints about the staff who take care of them at vast expense. They capriciously insist on certain kinds of medical care and refuse others. This leads FIL to die of a preventable/treatable infection at age 82.

    MIL lives on, increasingly irritable and confused, but physically hale and hearty. But now she is funny b/c she can't keep track of who she is talking about, so she often speaks badly about people to their faces, believing it to be behind their backs. Her attempts to be manipulative and vicious are now amusingly transparent. MAYBE she also now reveals things from her childhood and later life that give insight into how she turned into such a bitch on wheels.

    The book ends with the son and DIL leaving a visit to MIL and wondering what the heck happened to make the FIL like that, since he died with his psychic defenses intact. They rejoice that they are not wasting their lives in such miserable isolation and alienation from other people.

    Perhaps this is too realistic to meet the dramatic requirements of the novel.

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    1. I think it would be easier to have them dies in a car accident.

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  13. Why does it have to have a happy ending? This is fiction after all.

    I think the in-laws get irate at son standing up to them, and decide on revenge - they move to son and DIL's town. Now son has to visit them every week - his weekends are no longer his own. His mother calls often - the drain is blocked, I can't open a jar, I think my cat is ill. DIL realizes how good she had it when son only had to call once a week and visit once a year. The End.

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    1. Omigosh! I think readers would slit their wrists!

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    2. "No strokes, no cancer, no illness" makes it difficult. Perhaps DIL could have a miracle late-life baby and MIL and FIL realize how wonderful and amazing DIL really is and has been all along? (Plus the difficulties of traveling with baby mean son can't visit any more, but Skype is a wonderful thing :)

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