In Medias Res–A Guide to ‘FOUR: STORIES OF MARRIAGE’

a 'Commitment' novelin me·di·as res
/in ˈmēdēəs ˈres,ˈmādēˌäs/
adverb
  1. into the middle of a narrative; without preamble.
    “having begun his story in medias res, he then interrupts it”
    • into the midst of things.

     

This one kicked my ass. Could you tell? (Here’s a hint: when a writer blogs to ‘explain’ their book before you’ve read it, they’re terrified of how it will be received). When I thought about writing the finale to the ‘Commitment’ couples, all I could think about was how much my readers wanted it. I was mildly curious about Shawn and Riley, Brendan and Tracy, Chris and Robyn, and Jayson and Keisha as well, but I have to admit, that the primary driving force was knowing how much you — the folks who even read my droning blogs about ‘process’–wanted to hear from them.

The dilemma I never considered was: what comes after the happily ever after? Where do you pick up a story that has ended conclusively, and happily? Where might we find those people? How do you write the beginning, middle and end to a story of people who have already had that? Then I remembered that true love stories never really end. There are ups and downs, things that send you spinning sideways, questioning and falling in and out of love, and then in love all over again. And I thought about how love stories are to be found in the mundane, day-to-day-ness of being in a couple. Raising kids, having meals, going to work, negotiating balance, growth … all of that.

So, in ‘Four: Stories of Marriage’, there is a lot of mundanity. I drop you in the middle of an ongoing narrative of four marriages, not at a beginning place, but smack-dab in the middle. And the ‘endings’ of these four stories are the same way … inconclusive, but a stepping away from action at a place where you don’t necessarily know what will come next, though you think you have an inkling. The other thing I thought about as I wrote ‘Four’ was the complexity of coupledom, and my belief that relationships are often about repeating the same dynamic, making the same mistakes, and negotiating the same tensions often without resolution. Not in a bad way, but in the push-and-pull way that keep people interested in and learning from each other, maybe over a lifetime.

I can’t give you a lifetime of reading about these couples. You wouldn’t want to read that, and I wouldn’t want to write it. But I leave you with them now, to rest, just as they are.

Love & Light,

Nia

P.S. Buy it, here.

 

 

4 thoughts on “In Medias Res–A Guide to ‘FOUR: STORIES OF MARRIAGE’

  1. Can’t wait to read and especially excited about this… “And I thought about how love stories are to be found in the mundane, day-to-day-ness of being in a couple.”

  2. I’m currently listening to one of the most beautiful love songs of all time, Luther Vandross – Medley (Live), then this wonderful exciting and unexpected email pops up! Straight gave me chills. Best Hump Day Ever!!

  3. I agree with your stance on bringing these awesome couples and storylines to a close. I love them too much to see them become lackluster, stale, or contrived. You have indulged us quite a bit by keeping this going for as long as you have, I am so grateful and I also respect that you know best when it comes to them. I thank you for reigniting my love for reading as Commitment was a game changer for me! You are dope. We trust your decisions and you keeping the integrity of our beloved couples.

  4. I think we all love HEA’s, but I didn’t know how much I appreciated reading about my favorite couples right in the midst of their marriages…where the real grown folks shiggity goes down. As with all your books, these stories continue to add texture to already complex and “real” characters. Reading these stories was bittersweet because they’ve been so fun to read about, but this frees up Nia to write more amazing stories. Well done, Nia!

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