A beta reader asked me why I would make the protagonist of my story a woman going through a divorce.
So I asked this person, why not?
Their answer: Well, divorce is devastating.
Yes. Yes it is. But, it can also be FREEING. It can be viewed as an opportunity for a new beginning instead of just an ending. We can draw strength from it instead of wallowing in our heartbreak and misery.
I, myself, am a divorcee. Believe me when I tell you that I wanted to wallow. And I did for a short while, with the help of A LOT of good red wine and way too much take-out. But then I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and began creating a new life for myself. A better life.
I had no idea that someone would find that idea offensive. I didn’t know that I would make a person feel “broken” because they were still struggling, years after the fact.
Given my own experience, I know that my perspective on it will be different than others. I wrote from that perspective, because it is the only point of view on the subject that I have.
Never, ever, did I intend to make anyone feel “less than” or “wrong”.
Unfortunately, she felt so strongly about the subject that she became angry with me and decided to stop reading for me. I will truly miss her input.
We, as humans, are made up of experiences. Some will be similar, and others will be vastly different. That doesn’t mean that one is better, or more right, than the other. We are unique individuals, therefore our reactions to certain situations will be unique, as well.
I’ve always been told to “write what you know”, and I really think that’s sage advice. What I know is that laughter can be abundant again, love can be thrilling again, and life can be as fulfilling as we make it.
Words are powerful. I just witnessed that truth, in a very awkward way.