The Apology

Ever say you're sorry when you didn't mean it?  If you’re like most of us, I'm sure you have.  There are times we’re asked for an apology, and we don't even know what for.

The stereotype dictates Canadians as saying I'm sorry more than most, and I testify to the fact that I may be inclined to say it about minor things that don't even matter, even about things that are not my fault.  You didn’t hear what I said?  Oh, I'm sorry.  You didn’t get the email I sent you?  Oh, I’m sorry.  (You get it…we're sorry for everything, even when it’s not necessary! Lol)

But, in all seriousness sometimes as the human race we apologize to get out of an awkward situation.  Sometimes apologies make us negate our pride.  And just because we speak the words I'm sorry, it doesn't mean we're forgiven.  Then there are people who rarely apologize.

See, apologies are complicated, and not only for the person speaking the words, but the person receiving the apology.  We are complex.  We rarely ever experience just one feeling at once, normally we’re a tangle of them, and this transfers to the speaking of and accepting two little words:  I’m sorry.

How can we use this in our writing?

Have a character demand an apology from another who may have insulted them in some way.  Make it so the character doesn’t know what for, or want to.

Maybe you have a “Canadian-type character” who apologizes a lot.

Have a character who never says the words “I’m sorry” and provide a reason for it whether it’s due to pride or indifference, or something larger.  Maybe they don’t really see what difference an apology makes.

Maybe have a relationship hinge on one character needing an apology, and the one who owes it is too proud to speak the words.  It can be a conflict that drives them apart until things happen in the book that convinces the one to apologize.

Possibly a character offers a sincere apology to another but it's not accepted. 

What about you?  Have you been able to incorporate the aspect of an apology into your writing? 


  1. I'm sorry, I didn't read the entire post. :) As always, very informative, helpful and interesting. I think I actually used some of this in book one between Kelli and Kevin, though I would have to go back and look again. Keep up the good work.

  2. LOL. I appreciate the honesty, and I'm glad you found what you did read "informative, helpful and interesting" :)

  3. The apology I hate more than anything else in the world is "I'm sorry you feel that way".

    It's in no way an actual apology. Basically it means you're not sorry about what you did. You're just sorry that I'm being irrational about it.

  4. thinking about it, there is one part where my mc "manhandles" the female mc not on purpose and apologizes sincerely, then does it again on purpose and apologizes in gest.
    so thanks, then apologize? (your back to back posts =)

  5. I tend to be one of those people who apologizes for everything, even things I had nothing to do with. My husband, on the other hand, is more stingy with his apologies. This makes for an interesting dynamic around our house! Thanks for this post; you've given me some ideas for my WIP.

  6. Oh, I hate that one too Melanie. Exactly, why bother saying it.

    Tara you liked the irony in that? lol

    Dana, very happy the post gave you some ideas for your WIP :)


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