My A to Z Challenge theme is teaching you how not to write a book, or a short story, or any piece of creative writing whatsoever. For more information, including links to previous chapters and lessons, please refer to this post. Now buckle in and proceed with…



Billionaire Highlander cowboy Hawk MacHardcastle is tired of living the jetset life of champagne, bucking broncos, kilts, fast cars, and burning bundles of cash for warmth. Desperate to find meaning in his life, he retires to his family’s isolated cabin in the wilds of New Jersey, on the shores of majestic Lake Latrine.

There, Hawk plans on self-reflection and pursuing the great love of his life—fishing. However, Hawk’s self-imposed loneliness comes to an end when he makes a most unusual companion and fishing buddy.

Dropsy Velvet was once a young woman living on the shores of Lake Latrine with her settler family. However, a curse turned her into a mermaid and now she lives, sad and alone, in the depths of the lake. She hasn’t had human contact for close to fifty years, thanks to everyone either being terrified of her or thinking they’re drunk when they see her—but Hawk may be the connection to the world she’s been craving. Charmed by her innocent face, sparkling wit, and huge bare breasts, Hawk decides to help her find a way to lift the curse, as she will lift his: the curse of ennui and affluenza. But time is running out, for something sinister wants to flush Latrine away forever.


The witch screamed, her eyes huge when she saw the bottle of holy water—her one weakness. Satan’s minions could not endure the holy wrath of Heaven’s nectar. “No!” she shrieked. “No, I will not fail again. I will drain this lake!” She threw her arms in the air. The water in the lake began to churn and swirl, as though someone had pulled the plug…the Hell plug.

Hawk ripped the cork out of the bottle with his teeth and threw the contents on the witch. “The only thing going down the drain is you, witchy bitch!” He smiled at his own cleverness. He would have to remember that line and write it in his memoirs, which he would someday publish and would surely become bestsellers.

The witch’s screams grew louder. She clawed at her face as it began to sizzle like bacon…Hell bacon. She withered and collapsed on the sand. “No!” she cried. “What a world, what a world!”

The witch then vanished in a puff of black smoke. The waters of the lake were still. The night was silent, until Dropsy cried out. “Hawk, you saved me!”


I apologize, I’m cheating with today’s letter. But there’s not a whole lot of usable words that start with X.

The climax of a story should, even if it’s not happy, put a lot of conflict to rest and things should change. Things that might change are elements in the universe of your story, or a character–emotionally, mentally, even physically. The point is, after the climax, things don’t look the same. Something major has happened, a shift has taken place. If you’re writing a series, each book may have its own climax that sets things up for the next book. But make sure it all makes sense, and that you’re not just making pointless moves to wrap things up. As I’ve said several times, plant the bombs for the inevitable explosion long before you trigger them.

Also, don’t borrow details from literary classics like The Wizard of Oz, or people are going to notice.

I feel like I should apologize for this entire project, but I hope you’re all happy that Dropsy didn’t get sucked down the drain to Hell.

Author: Megan Morgan

Paranormal and contemporary romance author.

15 thoughts

  1. Well, that was fast 🙂
    And easy. That’s what readers love the most right? Fast, easy, forgettable climaxes.
    Now I expect Dropsy to turn into a hag herself, but them I’m sure Hawk, with is big… heart, won’t care about her looks and love her all the same.

    And why should you apologise? This is indeed what you promised: the worst novel ever written in 26 days. Good job 😉

    The Old Shelter – Jazz Age Jazz


  2. It seems so…anticlimactic. She just melts. I figured Hawk’s holy water would be a little more powerful…send her out into the upper stratosphere, at the very least? Then she could come back in your sequel. 🙂


  3. The point of this wonderful/terrible tale is to do everything wrong, so go ahead, have Dropsy get sucked into another world, or grow three legs or whatever. It’s all good. And for x, you should have had some dude named Xavier drop by. I’m at 4 and counting. It’s the name of the day!


    1. Oh my gosh, I should have. A rival for Hawk! Of course, Hawk would have bested Xavier. Dropsy only has eyes for her cowboy Highlander! 😉 Thank you so much for the compliments!


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