Monthly Archives: October 2012

Tell me about your mother: A character’s psychological make up

I believe all writers should have a solid understanding of psychology. Nothing too detailed, just your standard knowledge from any given Psych 101 text. This planet sustains over six billion people, yet it’s impossible to find any two who are exactly the same in genetic structure, upbringing, and individual experiences (and yes, this includes identical twins). Humans are complex; your characters should be too.

Character motives run deep. They have to come from somewhere. A general, even rudimentary comprehension of psychology can do wonders for character development. For example, a spoiled, pampered-upon princess type will not likely have confidence issues. However, she may struggle with superficiality. An unyielding, turned-criminal heroin addict may have suffered through child abuse, or been raised by a broken family. It doesn’t have to be this simple; in fact, it probably shouldn’t be. But like us, our characters are products of their environment. If done correctly, every choice they make will have its roots.

“We all have our layers”
Shi Yali → in Food & Drink

 

Character Psychology 101: My own personal breakdown:

1. So, tell me about your mother: Mommy/Daddy issues. Classic. It all starts and ends here. I’ve read so many stories where characters have unresolved conflicts with their parents. My own novel (unconsciously, of course) portrays one of these very predicaments. If applicable, think about your characters’ relationships with their parents. Are they solid? Irreparable? And more importantly, do the characters reflect these dilemmas? Are there manifestations of insecurity? Hopelessness? Do they choose partners on account of who their mothers and fathers were? Perhaps a man who was raised by his overbearing mother has issues sustaining relationships. After all, no one’s as good as mommy. This can be expanded into issues with the family—siblings, other relatives, etc. A broad understanding of how it all works will help put your character intentions into perspective.

2. It’s understandable; you were a victim of trauma: War, rape, assault, accident, or abuse. These characters will likely have matters to sort out. It’s likely their lives will not follow a straight line. They will encounter difficulty with day-to-day matters, and their willpower will constantly be tested. What types of activity will they fall into? Drug or alcohol abuse? Sex addiction? Homelessness? Theft, murder, or other illegal pursuits? Maybe it won’t even be that drastic, and of course they can overcome their burdens, but the characters must be shaped by the traumas. It’s simple psychology after all.

3. See, you’re using what we call a defense mechanism: Is your sarcastic character trying to cover up his insecurities? Is your anger-ridden protagonist hiding pain? Is the macho-monster truck-driving alpha male perhaps…compensating for something? Do any of your characters repress feelings? Act out? In other words, certain outer behaviors should likely reflect a tortured inner world.

4. Well, to me, that sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy: Say you have a character who’s certain that no matter what he does, he will fail. Then, not surprisingly, he does fail. Over and over again. It’s a state of mind, almost like a prediction. In some ways, this character is controlling the outcome of his life with his negative thoughts. We do it in real life all the time. Characters instantly become identifiable when they do it too.

5. No, it’s not just in your head; it’s an illness, an actual illness: One my favorite books of all time, Wally Lamb’s I know This Much is True, is about a man who has a schizophrenic twin brother. These characters with mental illnesses cannot be blamed for their actions, and often, extensive research must be done to realistically capture the causes, symptoms, characteristics, and treatments of the disease.

There are spider webs in our unconscious minds. Every person alive today has his/her share of unrealized desires, fears, and latent projections. Since we all strive to create characters that make our readers tick, it doesn’t hurt to understand what makes us tick first.

How about you? Does fundamental psychology influence your characters, whether it’s deliberate or not? As always, excited to hear what you have to say!

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Old School Sundays: Kate Chopin’s The Awakening

It’s a common plot point: domestic woman leaves her dispassionate life behind to pursue self-gratification, spiritual fulfillment. Eat, Pray, Love and other stories may have spawned a revival of these tales of transcendence, but the originator of this notion was Kate Chopin, and her wonderful novel, The Awakening.

Of course the 1890s was not an optimal time for female self-actualization; thus, Chopin took great risks in composing her story. I first read this book in an American Studies class. I fell in love with the imagery, the symbolism, and strong thematic components. But more than anything else, it was the slow, dawning of epiphany that shook Edna Pontellier’s core that truly moved me.

Octavian → in Objects

In the beginning of chapter seven, the narrator describes Ms. Pontellier:

“Mrs. Pontellier was not a woman given to confidences, a characteristic hitherto contrary to her nature. Even as a child she had lived her own small life all within herself. At a very early period she had apprehended instinctively the dual life–that outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions” (Chopin, 26).

I was initially drawn to this passage, because it seemed as though Chopin was not only describing her protagonist, but she was also describing me. But now I recognize this to be the work of a clever writer. As readers we’re supposed to identify with the characters. We’re supposed to feel like we’re reading about ourselves. A good writer will design such a universal protagonist so every person who ever lived can in some ways, relate.

It’s too bad that Edna Pontellier’s spiritual quest didn’t end as happily as say, the woman in Under the Tuscan Sun, but she is still  to be commended for surrendering to that inner inkling that begs us to reach for more.

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Killing two awards with one post

 

Some weeks back, I was presented with not one, but TWO blogging awards in one day. Way to feel special. However, I’ve thus neglected to accept these generous awards from these two awesome bloggers until today. So, my sincerest thanks (and apologies) go out to Jlee from Jlee’s Blog for bestowing the Illuminating Blogger Award upon me, and Stacie Renee Brown from Writing What Needs Written for granting me my second Liebster Award.

I’ll begin with the Illuminating Blogger Award…

Nothing is off-limits my hilarious nominator, Jlee. Reading her blog is like reading Fifty Shades of Grey in the sense that your jaw…will…drop. Did she really just write that?! The truth is, Jlee’s work is thoroughly enjoyable, and so verbally adept, it’s a wonder she’s not already a bestseller (of course it’s only a matter of time).

So thank you (again) to Jlee for honoring my efforts!

The rules for accepting The Illuminating Blogger Award are as follows:

  • Visit the award site, leave a comment, tell everyone who nominated you, and thank the blogger, including a link back to their site.
  • Share a random thing about yourself.
  • Select 5 or more nominees and notify them that they’ve won the award.
  • Put the award on your blog somewhere.

Random thing:

I’m always cold. Even in 70 degree weather. My birthday and Christmas presents usually consist of fluffy socks, cuddly pajamas, toasty slippers, downy robes, wool scarves, electric blankets, and yes…oh man, can’t believe I’m doing this…The Snuggie. Hey, at least I don’t wear it to Walmart…

*And the nominees are:

Michelle Ziegler’s Blog: I’m always happy to see a new post by Michelle in my inbox. She covers all the important writing topics, and relates them in a clear, concise fashion. Her “Fun Fact Friday” feature is one of my favorites.

The KnowledgeMaven: A blogging guru if there ever was one. Her posts are insightful and meaningful—I often find myself thinking about the things she says even days after I’ve read her blog.

*I’m cheating a bit and only picking two. I still have the Liebster award to cover, so I’m storing some steam here!

Thank you again to the fabulous Jlee!

Onward…

Stacie Renee Brown is my nominator for this award. Like me, I believe Stacie is an ‘intrinsic writer.’ It’s simply part of who she is. A great post of Stacie’s recapped her early literary life and what turned her onto the art as a child. Her writing is both thoughtful and filled with wonderful imagery.

That being said, thank you Stacie for presenting me with this award J

And here are the rules:

  1. Each person must post eleven things about themselves.
  2. Answer the eleven questions the person giving the award has set for you.
  3. Create eleven questions for the people you will be giving the award to.
  4. Choose eleven people to award and send them a link to your post. Go to their page and tell them.
  5. No tag backs.

Eleven Facts About Me

  1. I have a herniated disc in the lumbar region of my back. I love heels, but can’t wear them. The only shoes that won’t send tingles down my legs are the Dansko brand. Thank goodness they have some fashionable looking styles!
  2. I have a weakness for psychics. Love going to visit them.
  3. My favorite “accents” are English and American southern. Oh and my very own ‘New Yawk/New Joisey’
  4. I love early rock ‘n roll (Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, etc.)
  5. My favorite month is April
  6. I can’t get enough white wine. Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc are my faves.
  7. My favorite time of day is late morning
  8. I feel stupid whenever I watch an episode of Jeopardy!
  9. I drink a fruit and soy milk smoothie every morning
  10. My husband is a Briefcase carrying tax accountant/Tattoo sporting heavy metal drummer/Computer and video game geek. Interesting guy.
  11. I often light candles in every room of my house, and then forget about them

My 11 Questions to Answer

1. What would you change about humanity, if you could?

No violence. Nobody hurts each other.

2. What kind of relationship do you/did you have with your parent(s) or guardian(s)?

It’s always been strong, solid. I know I’m a good person, and I attribute much of that to them.

3. What is the cutest or most unpredictable thing you have ever seen a child do?

My sister’s boyfriend’s three-year old niece once took a nap in my cats’ bed. Of course, the cats themselves won’t go anywhere near the thing.

4. How do you think the world will have changed by the year 2050?

I think the biggest change will be technology. Tough question. I’m actually afraid to find out!

5. What is the most frustrating part of your craft?

Line-by-line editing. And researching. Or I should say, making use of the research in the story.

6. Do you believe in love at first sight? Why or why not?

I believe in immediate attraction, and inklings towards love. But true love takes a lot of time to development.

7. What kind(s) of books do you like to read?

Literary fiction with a commercial bent. Lately I can’t get enough “chick lit.” I also have a soft spot for the classics.

8. Who is your idol and why?

I don’t know, really. Probably some idealized version of me.

9. If you were a billionaire, how would you use your money?

First, I’d make sure that I was set for life (i.e. no money problems, I can now write all day, every day) After that, I’d pay off my family’s debts and give money to a number of charities/causes that I care about.

10. What do you like to do for fun?

Write, of course. Read. Go on mini-road trips to wineries. Hikes. Just spend time with friends and family.

11. Where is your favorite place and why is it your favorite?

Cape May, NJ. Best beach resort in the world—at least to me. My family took vacations there every year as I was growing up. There’s something about the ambiance that makes everything in the world seem OK.

My Questions for Future Recipients:

  1. Have you ever seen a ghost/spirit? If so, tell me about it. If not, do you believe in ghosts/spirits?
  2. What’s your favorite movie from the 1980s?
  3. What do you wish you knew in high school that you know now?
  4. What’s your favorite cocktail or alcoholic beverage?
  5. What’s your favorite vegetable?
  6. What’s one band or artist you love that goes against your normal range of musical taste?
  7. What’s your favorite Disney movie?
  8. What do you think was the most interesting news story of 2012?
  9. List all the major cities of the world that you’ve visited. Which was your favorite?
  10. Who is your favorite figure from history?
  11. What current song can’t you stand?

Eleven, err, five bloggers I’m awarding

These five are some of the most hardworking, interesting, and loyal bloggers out there today. I’m so happy to be acquainted with all of them. So often, they just plain make my day! Congrats to all you wonderful writers.

Thank you again to Stacie Renee Brown

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Old School Sundays: Alice Walker’s The Color Purple

I was ten when I first viewed the film starring Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah Winfrey. And, like the fact that Liesl’s virile, rosy-cheeked boyfriend, Rolf in the Sound of Music was actually a card-carrying Nazi, the complex thematic nature of The Color Purple went just a tad over my head.

Jesus Baez

Still,  something about the spiritual undertones (or perhaps overtones) that permeated the film appealed to me. I was moved by the characters’ struggles, and got lost in the ethereally spooky cinematography. I had no clue what I was watching, but I felt drawn to it, and viewed it many times over. One thing I could never understand, however, was the title. The color purple? What does this story have to do with…purple things? I couldn’t comprehend it. No one I asked could give me a straight answer.

And then four years ago I read the book. When I came across the following line, it all clicked into place:

In a letter to her sister Nettie, Celie describes a conversation she and Shug had about God.

Shug says:

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it” (Walker, 197).

The quote may have been expressed in the film; I honestly don’t remember. But it was the book…the words on the page…that brought it to life for me. I understood at once. How many natural elements in this world are purple? I’ve put this thought into practice. I notice a hearty bunch of daisies, a stark red cardinal in the midst of sparrows, a pond full of multicolored koi. It seems like a trite concept, but something about the way Walker puts it just knocks it dead. Brings it home. Maybe all we actually have to do is notice. Really notice.

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In Memoriam: When a character dies

Merelize → in Church & Cemetery

In fiction, a character’s death is the ultimate spoiler. When I taught high school English one of my favorite books to read with students was A Separate Peace by John Knowles. It proved to be a popular one in my class, as we spent weeks on end discussing Gene Forrester’s motives for “jouncing” the infamous limb, and gravely injuring his spirited friend, Finny. The funny part was each time I covered the story, there’d be at least one student who’d read ahead (or perhaps log onto Sparknotes) and do the unthinkable: spread the ugly truth around the classroom in venomous whispers, Finny dies!

As writers, why do we kill our characters? Is death a good plot twist? Does it make a story better? More dramatic? Emotional? Symbolic? Does death effectively touch on the greater human experience?

I’ll admit it. I’m a convicted character killer. Lock me up. I’m not vicious about it though, I simply understand their fates. As sad as it can make a reader or writer, some characters just seem destined to die, and as far as I know there is no set of criteria to follow, except for this: it must reflect the larger web of the story.Otherwise, as my characters’ divine creator, I think it would be too difficult to do.

Some surface elements to consider:

Who: Which characters will be plucked from the page? This needs to be carefully considered. Usually it’s not the main character, particularly if he or she is also the narrator (unless you’re going for a Lovely Bones angle, which I just find unsettling). If you know who will perish in advance, you can characterize accordingly. If not, there’s always revision.

When: At what point will the unfortunate character(s) pass on? Those who die in the middle of the story might have a dynamite personality to make up for lost time. If a character goes early on, perhaps it’s to set a precedent, or to establish an important plot point.

How: Tragic death? Violent death?Peaceful death?Inevitable death? It all depends on the individual character(s).

Why: This is a big one. Does the death serve a purpose? It most likely should.

I’ll take this last point—the “why”—a bit further. Based on everything I’ve ever read, written, watched in films, or seen on television, I’ve come to find that characters almost always die for one of the five reasons below.

1. The Extraordinary Person Syndrome: This character has a spirit that’s too big for life (not unlike poor Mr. Finny). Think of rock stars—Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin—all robbed of life at a tender age. It’s as if their brilliance was meant to be solidified.

2. The Stigma of the Very Important Person: At least to the main character. In fact, maybe too important to the main character. It could be a friend, lover, relative, etc. of the protagonist. This person’s passing is often a lesson in love or guilt.

3. The Evil-Doer’s Demise: A nasty villain. A murderous creep. An abusive spouse, parent, or significant other. This is someone who has done no good throughout the story, and flat out deserves to die. Perhaps at the main character’s hands.

4. The Magnitude of the Martyr: This character’s death will quite literally shift ‘the sands of time.’ A mother of two estranged sisters dies of natural causes, and thus forces her daughters to reconnect. The passing of a woman’s controlling husband will influence her to take a spiritual journey. A former high school quarterback overdoses and brings countless alienated peers back home to pay respects. Get the picture?

5. The Reprieved: This one is for the disease-stricken, the ill-treated, and the less fortunate. They die because the suffering has become unbearable. In death they are in peace.

I believe there is room for some blending. Maybe one character’s end will fit into two of these categories, or three. Even those who die for political reasons, or while at war will likely touch on one or more of these elements. Our characters are our babies, and with time, we share them with the world. Losing one can no doubt be super sad. But sometimes, for the sake of the story, it must be done.

Have your characters gone on to a better place? For what reasons? I’d love to hear your comments, morbid as they may be.

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Filed under Characters, Why We Write, Writing Process, Writing Tips

Old School Sundays: D.H. Lawerence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover

I read the original Fifty Shades of Grey (a.k.a Lady Chatterley’s Lover) six or seven years ago. What a brilliant story, especially for its time. Originally published in the 1920s, it predated the sexual revolution, the porn industry boom, and MTV. The way Lawrence was able to capture the notion of sexual fulfillment from a woman’s perspective no less, simply blew me away.

In this scene, Connie (Lady Chatterly) converses with her husband, Clifford, who is an impotent paraplegic. This is before Connie meets Oliver Mellors, the man who eventually “lights her fire.”

patricia dillon → in Human activity

Clifford to Connie:

“…You had that lover in Germany…what is it now? Nothing almost. It seems to me that it isn’t these little acts and little connections we make in our lives that matter so very much. They pass away, and where are they? Where…Where are the snows of yesteryear?…It’s what endures through one’s life that matters; my own life matters to me, in its long continuance and development. But what do the occasional connections matter? And the occasional sexual connections specially. If people don’t exaggerate them ridiculously, they pass like the mating of birds. And so they should. What does it matter? It’s the life-long companionship that matters. It’s the living together from day to day, not the sleeping together once or twice. You and I are married, no matter what happens to us. We have the habit of each other. And habit, to my thinking, is more vital than any occasional excitement” (47).

What I love about this passage is that is holds both truth and untruth.  A statement like this discounts the need for passion, yet touches on the bigger picture–the things that truly matter in life. I believe these words, for Connie’s sake, were meant to be proven wrong, yet Lawrence is creating a pretty fierce argument.

By the way, in our world today, we still debate this very predicament.

 

 

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Pow! Writing about War and Violence

I don’t speak for everyone, but to me, there never was a more odious piece of literature than Homer’s The Iliad. It isn’t the ancient setting or the character names that include at least three lines of ancestry; nor is it the cause of such a barbaric, yet frivolous war (A spat over Helen of Troy). Instead, it’s the intricately dense, seemingly endless descriptions of battle—and to that effect, weaponry. Oh. My. God.Pass the screwdriver please; I’d like to jam it in my eye.

We live in a culture that loves action. In movies, the more explosions, the bigger the blockbuster. But in film there are special effects, visuals, sounds…muscled men. In books it doesn’t work the same way. And reader/writer types like us tend to prefer the meaning behind the battles over the mere portrayal of spilled blood.

I’m not ripping on Homer. In those days the story-telling tradition was primarily oral. Clearly the ancient Greeks fell some years short on literary technique. Centuries later, however, we’ve taken great strides in the formation of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. You’re out of excuses. It’s time to fine-tune your scenes including wars,fights, and violence.

Andy Fox → in Sculptures

Writing about War

I’ll admit I’ve never attempted this, but in college I took a course called Classics of War Literature. Later on in grad school, in a creative writing class, we practiced writing violent scenes. Based on my readings and writing exercises I’ll share what I’ve learned.

We know war is atrocious, but it can also be—as I once read—utterly boring. A good percentage of the time is a waiting game. Sitting, crouching, and preparing for an attack. Tim O’Brien, renowned Vietnam writer, and one of my personal favorites captures this notion in books like The Things They Carried, and If I Die in a Combat Zone.

That being said, good build up is essential. Dead, quiet time is great for character reflection, for basking in fear. Intensify the scene by including a stray bullet, a footstep, a cough, a shadow. After all, they say the sound of a killer climbing your steps is more terrifying the attack itself. Use this to your advantage in writing.

When the violence does erupt, it should be quick, intense, and powerful. The writing should convey total chaos. It’s also important that something changes as a result of the combat. Maybe a main character is killed or injured in the midst of the mayhem, but there should be no dwelling. In fact, it may not even be discovered by the reader until after the fact. Pain ensues, and the characters are now in waiting for the next onslaught. All is quiet again.

Writing about Fights (domestic, schoolyard, bar, or otherwise)

My novel includes a knock-down-drag-out between the protagonist and one of his heavy metal buddies. It wasn’t an easy scene to write; in fact, I rewrote it several times. After the exorbitant amount of practice, I noticed a few crucial elements that are needed to make “fight scenes” in fiction (or non-fiction) work:

• There has to be a good reason for fighting. If it’s two guys over a girl, she better be a special girl—good friends rarely throw punches over floozies. Unless of course there’s another issue at stake. Or if the two dudes have been firmly established as rivals.

• Generally speaking, physical fights don’t just happen out of nowhere. There should be a “testing” period before the match ensues. In other words, exchanged words, intense arguments, and smashed objects. In fact, a ‘fight’ may take an entire chapter to play out—just not the fighting part itself. Too much description of the violence (not unlike my favorite, The Iliad) can cause the reader to lose interest. Well-crafted tension building on the other hand, can lead to some awesome action.

• The situation should be emotionally charged. If it isn’t, you risk sounding cartoon-y. The fight should suggest deeper issues, reveal character flaws, or perpetuate themes.

• The less clichés, the better. Be creative. Go beyond punches to the face, or knees to the groin. Try an elbow in the eye. An ear twist. Finger biting. Really dig your heels in. Without fresh language to bring a brawl to life, your characters become robotic.

Like I mentioned above, create a perception of absolute chaos. The readers should hear the commotion in their heads as they read. There are ways to do this. Sound effects help—breaking glass, tumbling furniture. Other background noises may include a passerby yelling at the culprits to stop, or to keep going. It should be quick too. To the point of barely knowing what happened. Now that’s what makes a good fight!

Thoughts? How do you go about writing violent scenes?

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Old School Sundays: Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre

This week’s Old School Sunday entry comes my favorite classic lit book of all time, Jane Eyre. I’ve probably read the novel at least five times. Back in college, when I first divulged in this story, I was, in fact, dating an older (and perhaps wiser) man.  Thus, Jane and Mr. Rochester’s relationship resonated with me.

Says Rochester, during one of his many exchanges with Jane:

“You never felt jealously, did you, Miss Eyre? Of course not: I need not ask you; because you never felt love” (161).

An interesting notion.  It’s incredible to know that the same mix of sweet and evil emotions that accompany love have barely changed through the centuries.

Elizabeth Gallagher → in Glass & Windows

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Love Connection: Writing about romantic relationships in fiction

For centuries the world’s great stories have been built on romance. Petrarch wrote love poems for Laura. Romeo and Juliet defied and sacrificed to be together. Hell, the Greek Gods swapped partners more often than the cast of Beverly Hills 90210. Today’s realm of pop culture isn’t much different: Rachel and Ross’s dalliances kept us engaged through ten seasons. We swooned when, after years of torment, Mr. Big flew to Paris to claim his Carrie Bradshaw. And the movies? Forget it. Even the action hero has a love interest.

So we like falling in love. We like watching others fall in love. As bookish types, we like reading about love. And (drumroll, please) us scribes? We dig writing about love.

Rachael Towne → in Textures

It’s no big mystery. Writing about romantic relationships evokes feelings of our own. It can actually be a vicarious experience.When two of my protagonists hit it off, I get tingly inside; I ache, I yearn.  I know it’s serious when I find myself fantasizing about my own characters (don’t tell anyone). But that’s the effect it has. Writers are the luckiest people in the world: we get to fall in love over and over again.

Like most elements of fiction writing, the Love Connection can be a tricky endeavor. In romance novels there is often a formula to follow. From what I understand, at the end, despite all obstacles, the couple lives happily ever after. But perfecting the art of dangerous liaisons is not the sole job of the romance writer.  I consider my work ‘literary with a commercial bent,’ and regardless of genre, the passion needs to sizzle.

It’s all about pacing; the Love Connection must begin, develop, and (perhaps) end, at an optimal speed.

Here’s a quick guide to the process:

The Initial Meeting:

Whether its new love, old love, or love turned sour, every fictional couple should have a story. I listened to a webinar recently where speaker, Jerry B. Jenkins, discussed ‘situational clichés.’ He used the example of two characters literally “bumping into each other.” He suggested ‘finding more creative ways for characters to meet.’ Concerning the Love Connection, this is absolute truth. Tony and Maria from West Side Story also come to mind: two strangers lock eyes across the room, the backdrop becomes blurry, the sounds fade out…ick. It worked for the Jets and the Sharks, but for your novel, you may want to take Jenkins’s advice. There are countless ways to demonstrate the Love Connection. Go for something that’s never been done before.

The Exchange:

A few years ago I attempted to write a novel about two twenty-somethings who meet and fall in love. There were countless issues concerning the writing (i.e. zero backstory, vague setting, etc.) but one element I did nail was the exchange between my characters, Eddie and Ellie. My writing group loved the flirtatious banter, the suggestive gestures, and the obvious sexual tension. I was starting to think that they were falling in love with Eddie and Ellie as much as Eddie and Ellie were falling for each other. But after several weeks they started asking questions like, “When are they going to kiss? Have sex? Touch each other?” Then it hit me: I wasn’t going beyond the exchange. If they kiss, then they reach a new level. And I was lost at how to handle that.

The Outcome:

Just as in life, the literary romance will take some tumbles. The world that looked so shiny and new has returned to its regular dull hues, and now the sands of time are being tested. This is the hard part. But it’s also the most important part. It’s the bonding, the reckoning, and the agonizing. I feared for Eddie and Ellie in this stage. Would they make it? Lose their spark? I kept the witty repartee rolling because I didn’t want to find out. Hence, I never finished the novel.

Literary love comes in all shapes and sizes. Some are ongoing, some are ending, some are unrequited, and yet others are inevitable. Capturing love the right way can do wonders for your book. It can encourage someone to take to take the plunge, get engaged, or leave an unhappy marriage. But one thing I know for sure? As long as we live, read, and write, we most certainly will love.

Do your characters fall in love? Tell me about it.

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