I promise this isn't going to become a sports blog. For one thing, I'm not that big of a sports fan. For another thing, I don't know much about it. Living in NWA, however, the Petrino Scandal has rocked my husband's world so I've heard a lot about it the last few days. (My husband has been posting on Facebook more than I have if that tells you anything.) A die hard razorback fan, he's understandably furious that a head football coach would disregard the consequences that his personal choices would have on the program and the young athletes who have committed to him and tied their futures to his leadership.
Petrino is fired, disgraced, and gone. I don't really pity him because these were his choices. I do pity the players, the rest of the coaching staff, the University and Athletic department administrators, and the fans. Oh, the fans are bleeding tears right now. A future that looked so promising is now smudged by scandal and uncertainty. So, in this story, there is no HFN(Happily For Now), though I do hold out hopes for an Arkansas Happily Ever After (HEA). The road there will be long and hard though - a true life saga.
There is a lesson in this for fiction writers. Be aware that consequences for your character's actions and choices must be real, or your story loses plausibility. Don't let the resolution come so easily that it fails to affect or teach the reader. I enjoy seeing a character triumph when the odds of that victory seemed impossible. When it comes to easy, it seems to be worth less.
Take these moments of real life drama and study them. Who did what and why? What were the results? Who suffered and how? Who was the good guy, the hero? Only by studing true human struggles can you hope to understand humanity enough to write about it.