Hey, Danica! Welcome to the Pink Fuzzy Writers place this Monday morning. What do you have there? Oh, my! What a hot cover.

Does everyone have something to drink and munch?
Take it away Danica!

The Moral of the Story

Do you remember when you were little and you read Aesop’s Fables? There was always a moral to the story, some lesson to be learned that I suppose our teachers and parents hoped we would take with us when we left that classroom. I’m sure I learned something, but I couldn’t tell you exactly what it was. However, I have discovered that as a writer, I follow almost the same formula Aesop did in his storytelling.

When I began to write, I never set out to write a story with a moral. Why would I want to? I was writing about romance and how love conquers all! But then I realized there’s a moral in every romance.

As readers, we want characters in the books we read to be complex and flawed; who wants to read about perfect people? Not me. I want someone who has issues, like me (not necessarily my issues, but you know what I mean). I want to read about someone who triumphs in the end and yes, love conquers all. As a writer, however, I never made that conscious connection. It was only during a recent discussion with someone that I discovered that I write modern day romantic fables.

In the first book of my Veil series, Ruby: Uncut and on the Loose, the heroine has a painful past and she believes being independent from everything and everyone is the only way to be. The hero has…well, a hero complex. He’ll sacrifice everything, even his own love, to make the world a better place. The moral of that story was discovering what’s really important in life. It’s learning to compromise, not just with a loved one, but also with yourself. Deep, huh?

The second book, Succubus-in-Waiting was perhaps a little more blatant than that. That book was about acceptance and prejudice. The heroine knows she’s different, a freak. And really, how could anyone want her because of that? The hero hates succubi because of what one did to his brother. The moral of this story is that hatred and prejudice can blind you to what’s right in front of you. It’s also about accepting and loving who you are, no matter how different you are from “normal” society.

Then we get to the third book, Lifestyles of the Fey and Dangerous. This book is darker than the first two. When I wrote it, I didn’t even ponder a moral or the darkness. I just knew the heroine was going to have to overcome an awful lot. Why? Because I made her an assassin who was out to kill the hero (who, by the way, has his own demons to deal with). How could an assassin be a lovable heroine? How could a former bad guy (the hero) become a sympathetic hero? I made them suffer. There. I said it. I tormented them and then I threw them together and made them fall in love. The moral of this book is that no matter how horrible things can be, how utterly hopeless things seem, there’s always hope. It may not look the way you expected it to, but it’s there just waiting for you to find it.

I never set out to do any of this. It was never my intention to delve deeper into the underlying themes of my stories, but I find I can’t help myself. My brain wants to pick it apart to see what I was really thinking and I was amazed. So to my fellow writers, have you noticed any morals in your stories that you hadn’t before? To the readers, I have to ask the same question. What morals have you discovered in reading romance and has it ask the same question. What morals have you discovered in reading romance and has it helped you in your day-to-day lives?

I'll be giving away a hand-painted mask to one (or possibly two, depending on how many comments) commenter.

The buy link for the book is http://bookstrand.com/lifestyles-of-the-fey-and-dangerous.


Hey let's get lots of comments and make her give away 2 masks!


  1. Mary Marvella // April 3, 2011 at 11:58 PM  

    Danica and visitors. Danica sent me a lovely blog in a reasonable font, but blogger is being creative tonight. Sorry. Maybe Blogger wants input!

  2. Mary Marvella // April 3, 2011 at 11:59 PM  

    Good morning, Danica! Love the cover and the morals of your stories. Very interesting!

  3. Scarlet Pumpernickel // April 4, 2011 at 1:27 AM  

    Welcome to the pink fuzzies! We are so please to have you join us today. Can you tell us a little about your process of writing? What do you like best about writing and least? Where did you get your inspiration for Fey and Dangerous? It sounds like a wonderful read. I can't wait to get a copy.

  4. Danica Avet // April 4, 2011 at 9:45 AM  

    Thanks for having me, ladies! :)

    Scarlet - Lifestyles was actually my 2009 NaNoWriMo project. I started out with the idea of a female assassin and then decided to go with it. I used to RPG in my college days, so I borrowed ideas from my gaming to lend Lani some "authenticity". My mom swears up and down that she's the inspiration for Lani since she played the game as well and was a fairy rogue assassin *grin* I keep letting her think it ;)

  5. Nightingale // April 4, 2011 at 10:39 AM  

    Very interesting post. I had the same problem with one of my heroes - making a really bad boy sympathetic. It's definitely a challenge. I really like the sound of your books, especially the succubus one. I recently read a book about an incubus.

  6. Danica Avet // April 4, 2011 at 10:54 AM  

    Hi Nightingale - I'll admit I'm in love with the incubus who appears in this series. He's got a Cajun accent and rar ;) Difficult characters can be a pain, but when they work out...they're fantastic!

  7. Pamela Varnado // April 4, 2011 at 3:14 PM  

    Danica, welcome to the Fuzzies. Including a moral message in your story is a good way to pull the plot together. It keeps me to stay focused on one idea when I don't have any idea how the story will unfold.

  8. Danica Avet // April 4, 2011 at 3:40 PM  

    Pamela - I think that's what's so helpful about the "morals" of a story; it's a very central theme you can follow whether you're a panster or a plotter!

  9. Judith Keim // April 5, 2011 at 8:26 AM  

    Hi, Danica! Glad you good join us! I think I, like you, write stories that have morals because basically most people are good and have some principles. We play with them a bit, make them dangerous or naughty but in the end most characters want to redeem themselves.

  10. Danica Avet // April 5, 2011 at 8:55 AM  

    Judy - Yes! I love taking a harsh character and redeeming them. It gives me a sense of hope that things are never as dark/horrible as they seem.

  11. Barbara Monajem // April 5, 2011 at 11:05 AM  

    Hi, Danica -- Isn't it fun what your subconscious dishes up? I'm always surprised at what messages come out in my writing, often entirely unplanned.

    I love your titles!!

  12. Mona Risk // April 5, 2011 at 1:05 PM  

    Hi Danica, sorry I'm late. I enjoyed your post so much. My hero and heroine always start with weaknesses and faults and end up conquering their demons.

  13. Patrice Wilton // April 5, 2011 at 2:59 PM  

    Interesting blog - now you're making me guess what my moral lessons are for my own books. Never really thought about it, but I know that I have a common theme running through my books - that no matter who you are or how content your life is - love makes everything better and is worth any risk.

  14. Mary Ricksen // April 5, 2011 at 4:26 PM  

    Sorry I am late getting here. I checked yesterday and musta missed this somehow!
    I do so agree that the more conflict the better the story and the balance of conflict and resolution is what makes it all worthwhile!!
    Great blog!

  15. Danica Avet // April 5, 2011 at 5:43 PM  

    Barbara - Thanks! These books were written when I could actually think of titles. Now I go blank when I try to come up with something, LOL

    Mona - I believe that's what readers enjoy; watching people overcome the same insecurities they do. Now I'm singing "Against All Odds" in my head. ;)

    Patrice - I wouldn't have realized that I had different morals if a reviewer hadn't pointed it out in the first book. That's when I took a good look at the rest of the series and the light went off :)

    Mary - You're absolutely right. It's fine to give characters problems to solve, but it's making sure those issues are resolved by the end of the book that makes it truly satisfying.

    Thanks for commenting, y'all!!

  16. Beth Trissel // April 5, 2011 at 6:35 PM  

    Hello Danica. Sorry I'm late. So good to have you with us on the Fuzzies. Amazing this began as a NaNoWriMo project. A big high five to you for getting all of that done and off the ground.

  17. Danica Avet // April 6, 2011 at 8:28 AM  

    Thanks, Beth. It was my first NaNo, but the book nearly wrote itself, so that helped tremendously!

  18. Mary Marvella // April 6, 2011 at 11:22 AM  

    Good Wednesday morning, Danica and guests. Mona and her wine above and Danica and her fables should make us happy after my discussion of pollen and flowers below.

  19. Josie // April 7, 2011 at 6:26 PM  

    Thanks for visiting the Pink Fuzzies, and thanks for MM for hosting.
    Sorry I'm late in posting.

    Someday I'd love to participate in NaNo.
    And, your stories sound terrific.