Y – You Did It!

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.

You Did It!

Hawk strode proudly into the water and scooped up his darling mermaid. He laid a big wet kiss on her and held her close. “I told you I would be your hero, baby. Now we can spend our life together. I’ll build you a fish tank and even put a plastic castle in it for you. You’ll be my little Princess of the Sea.”

But just then, something magical happened. A brilliant flash of light blinded them. As their vision returned, they gasped to see something amazing and unexpected.

“I’m human again!” Dropsy kicked her brand new long, lovely, sleek, somehow perfectly waxed legs, where her tail had once been. “The witch’s curse is broken. Oh Hawk, I love you.” She threw her arms around his neck.

Hawk spun her around. “This will make sex less awkward.”

They had a picnic on the beach, made love, watched some Netflix, and for the first time in ages, Dropsy slept in a human bed. In the morning, they had breakfast and coffee, and he took her shopping—she bought the highest pair of stilettos she could find, and Hawk approved.


You did it! You wrote a story. You built tension, created conflict, fleshed out your characters and gave them obstacles and motivations, dropped clues where the plot was heading, brought the hero up against the villain, and the big explosion happened. In the aftermath, you should wrap everything up with a nice tidy bow—and don’t be too long about it. Once the main conflict is resolved, anything beyond should consist of putting ducks in a row and tying up any loose ends. If you drag the story on for too long after the climax, it’s going to be just that…a drag. No one cares if your characters watched Netflix after defeating a Hell Witch.

The aftermath of the climactic moment—where hopefully, everything changed—is a place to either revel in victory and take a happy, cleansing breath, or weep and mourn what has been lost and survey the damage. Not every book has a happy ending of course, but it still must be a satisfying ending, which means it makes sense and something was resolved, even if not to everyone’s advantage. After the turning point things quiet down and start wrapping up. Make sure that’s what you do, and don’t dump more story in the reader’s lap than what they want at this point.

Give your characters legs and let them run into the sunset.

22 thoughts on “Y – You Did It!

  1. Too cool! This was perfect, as I knew it would be. Great job, just fabulous!


  2. And YOU did it too. Congratulations on getting through the Challenge. Isn’t this A to Z thing really tough? My posts were pretty random (first timer) but I did share some crazy creative writing in P for Pox: https://roblogtime.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/pox-atozchallenge/


    1. Congratulations for taking on the challenge! I’ll stop by over the next few days and check it out. Thank you!


  3. LOL “somehow perfectly waxed legs” and “This will make sex less awkward.” – I love it 🙂
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)


  4. J here, of the #atozchallenge Arlee Bird’s A to Z Ambassador Team.
    Have you enjoyed the challenge? Did you hop to other blogs? The end of the alphabet here! Reflections sign up is May 9– mark a calendar.
    My blog’s giveaway is still going. I’m encouraging everyone to visit more stops.
    Perfectly wax legs and highest heels she could find… ha ha ha. Yeah. Good times with this fake story. Bravo.


    1. I’ll be sure to come over and sign up! I’ve had a great time with the challenge.Thank you!


  5. You should have had them Netflix and chill. 😉

    ~Ninja Minion Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author


  6. There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of a book, for the author to rush it, where you read between the lines that they didn’t know what would happen, and not in a good way 😉
    Josefine from
    Getting to the end


    1. No doubt! I don’t want to feel cheated at the end of the book.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh dear! Now she’s back to being just another human female. How is she going to keep Hawk’s heart? She isn’t unique, challenging, and complicated anymore. 🙂


    1. Hawk came to Lake Latrine for that ‘simple life,’ don’t ya know. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What? No plot twist? I had high hopes for Hawk becoming a merman.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A billionaire cowboy Highlander merman….I smell a sequel! 😉


  9. “You built tension, created conflict, fleshed out your characters and gave them obstacles and motivations, dropped clues where the plot was heading, brought the hero up against the villain, and the big explosion happened.”

    Wait! When did all that happen? Were Hawk and Dropsy involved at any point?


    Authors sweat over the hook of the story a lot. They get mad about it (I’ve done the same, eh, and I’m not done yet 😉 ) but often they don’t give the ending as much thought. And instead I think the ending is as important as the beginning. We should be very careful when we write it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, yes they were there. Didn’t you notice them? 😉

      The ending is SUPER important I think. It’s what might make a reader come back for your next book.


  10. I enjoyed your story and info on what and what not to do! Yes – yay we made it, well almost! I wrote on southern food and memories. https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/blogging-from-a-to-z-april-2016-x/comment-page-1/#comment-437


    1. Thank you! I’ll come by and check it out!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I liked that they watched Netflix! It made me identify with them. (And yes, I’m warped.) I was at an author talk and she discussed lingering a bit over a character’s death scene as a way to let the reader say goodbye to a character. I liked that.


    1. Ohhh, I like that too! It gives the characters and the readers closure!


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