Knowing how to formulate a proper apology is important for a romance writer.
Our heroes and heroines are often struggling with hurt, either past or present. In some cases the character just has to come to terms with the pain and move on. But sometimes an apology from the person who did the damage is a good way to allow the main character to progress so the story can come to a satisfying conclusion.
The problem is most human beings I know have a hard time apologizing and will do just about anything to avoid it, including pretending nothing has happened.
“What flame thrower?”
Many folks put responsibility for unsolicited forgiveness on the victim.
“You can’t tell me you’ve never considered arson.”
Others blame the victim entirely.
“You’re the person who insisted on living in a flammable house.”
Many people also like to underestimate the impact of their behavior.
“At least your food is prepared for you here in the hospital.”
So in the interest of humanity and not incidentally of romance novels, I have created a Cloze apology template which, for those of you who are not up on education lingo is familiarly known as a fill-in-the –blank sheet. This is not to be confused with Madlibs. Madlibs is much more fun and sometimes a better learning tool.
_________(1)_____________, I am deeply sorry I ______(2)_______. I know I _______(3)________ when I did that. (optional addition) I wish I hadn’t also __________(4)__________. That was _____(5)___________. I will try to make it up to you by ________(6)__________ and by doing better in the future.
As an instructional aide, I have included some multiple choices for each blank space.
- A. Sweetheart, B. Family Member, C. Officer, D. Neighbor
- A. Froze your chocolates, B. Made fun of your purple pants, C. Ran a red light, D. Played the drums all night long on Wednesday
- A. Made a mistake, B. Embarrassed you, C. Broke the law, D. Kept you awake
- A. Laughed when your front tooth chipped, B. Made up a purple pants cheer and taught it to the entire crowd at the home football game, C. Mooned you as I drove by, D. Invited all my friends in the marching band for a drunken all night practice session in the back yard.
- A. Insensitive, B. Mean, C. Inappropriate, D. Inconsiderate
- A. Driving you to the dentist, B. Buying a pair of purple pants and wearing them in public for a month, C. Following traffic rules, D. Not complaining next time your motorcycle gang parks on my lawn
Rose Grey has written three romance novels and is hard at work on a fourth. If you liked this post, come visit the rest of the blog at www.rosegreybooks.com. Hot Pursuit and Not As Advertised are available as ebooks and as paperbacks online.