and this is crazy. But I think I love you. So call me, maybe?
If you didn’t assume that was coming at some point or another, you don’t know me very well and I am sorely disappointed in you. Now go and sit in the corner until I decide you can come out and face the world again.
All right, you can come out now. I need someone to talk too and this whole corner thing ain’t working for me.
I’ve never had much luck in the relationship front. Oh sure, I’ve had them. Plenty of them. But they all ended, some of them worse than others, but they all ended.
Some I was able to get over quickly, others not so much. I did end up getting over them, though, asking the same question: what the hell is wrong with me?
And don’t give me ‘if it was meant to be’ crap. If it was ‘meant to be’, we wouldn’t have to work on relationships, things would just fall into place and every one would get their happy endings.
Kind of like how Disney and any rom-com ever would have us believe.
Well, maybe not. Movies are shortened versions of reality. Kind of. Someone’s reality. Shut up.
People are going to fall in love in a short amount of time because, well, a movie can’t really take the time or the detail to explain the intricacies of falling in (and out of) love. Acts I, II, and III are all they get to tell a love story. A book, on the other hand, can take longer to divulge, but is still under the same sort of restrictions.
Two characters gotta fall in love. Okay, how? Why? So on and so forth.
Here’s where the author comes in. The author makes the magic happen. A character looks a certain way, he’s dark and mysterious, she’s the klutz who might be kind of pretty. The stars align and voila! Love story.
Okay, great, but how?
Why do the characters fall in love? What is the REASON behind it? Is it the physical appearance or is there more?
I’ve noticed the same things with movies. And romance novels. Maybe some teen novels. The two characters who are supposed to end up together fight a lot, but there’s a look when the other isn’t looking, the touch of a hand, the way he pulls on his hair. Blah, blah, blah. Then (and here Disney excels) there’s a huge emotional upheaval where the two main characters test their true feelings for each other, and by the end they are reunited and YAY happily ever after.
Is this just wishful thinking, or does it really work like that?
Does real life reflect fantasy?
For many authors it does. I suppose there is a reason none of my main characters have ANY luck in love. From Untitled to Melanie, Grimmauld to Molly they’re all sort of losers in that front. Well, maybe not losers. Some come out the winner.
Maybe I just think about it too much.
I try to give myself signs I should look for if I should ever fall in love. What will it feel like? Will it be an all-encompassing feeling?
People say ‘oh honey, you’ll know when you fall in love’. Mind you this is said with a knowing look and a wide, shit eating smile, as if they’re the keeper of the secrets of the world and deciding that you’re worthy enough IN THAT MOMENT to be let in on one of the biggest.
But do you really? DO you know when you’ve fallen in love or is it just a giant guessing game?
I’ve been wrong before. I don’t like being wrong twice. Thrice and the whole thing can bite the big one.
Are we as authors pretending on the page? Do we imagine the feelings of love to give our readers something to relate to, to understand when they read it? These two characters are in love, we say, and here’s how they feel about it.
Then again, who cares why anyone falls in love?
(I want to find out what happens next!)
What matters is the work done to keep it going. Right?
(Where the hell are the zombie battles? I was promised ZOMBEEEES!)
Never mind that the entire institution is absolutely ridiculous. The dating scene is nothing more than a ‘try out’ period where two people find out if they’re compatible. If so, yay! If not, well I suppose that’s how Taylor Swift makes all of her money.
Some people call it fun-they date because it’s a good time-I call it some kind of crazy. Who the hell wants to go through the emotional pain of realising the person they gave their heart to decided they didn’t want it any more and gave it back?
That’s like walking out into the road and giving traffic a big hug.
Or maybe a tiger. I’ll go with tiger since Google is not as awesome as I thought it was.
And yet, despite my logical side railing against me, pointing out everything that is wrong, it would still be nice to have a love story of my own.
Be nice to fall in love and have it reciprocated. Even just a little.
And why not?
The love story keeps us going. We want to find out what happens to characters we gave our hearts to, have come to care about. In a way, we as the reader, have fallen in love with a figment of someone else’s imagination.
So, my fellow writers, let me ask you something.
How do you make your characters fall in love? Is there a secret to it? Do you imagine what it will feel like when the stars align for two souls or do you draw on your own experience?