Wednesday, February 13, 2013

02/13/2013 Writing Wednesday!

Hello again everyone! I hope your day is seeing you well and that your week has also been fun and eventful so far. Mine has been partially full of irritation at a certain insect problem that won't seem to go away, but other than that things are going pretty well. Let's just hope that the rest of the week lightens up just as much!

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I'd like to talk about love and romance in your stories. This has a wide range of possibilities and almost every story in existence has some sort of romantic/love interest in it on some level and even if it's just showing the bonds between two people and not necessarily their love for each other in a physical sense, it's something that lends an important aspect to the story and needs to be handled just as carefully as the rest of what you're doing.

Depending on what you're writing, the idea of the love/romanticcan take many different forms. In the end is will always be the thing that has a lot, if not the most influence on a character's actions and if you're going to include that into your story you need to be prepared for that. This is another one of those times when you need to take the characters that are involved in the romantic bond and make sure they are all 'real' people. I mean that in the sense that they have motivations, hopes, emotions, and weaknesses. So many times a love interest has been captured in order to make the hero do something the villain wants, or they've been put in danger and the hero needs to decide whether or help them or to go help...oh I don't know, let's say Moe. This isn't just a cliche that authors use because they're lazy, this is something that's done to humanize the protagonist and make the reader actually sit and think about what decision they'd make if they were in the same situation as the hero.

There's also the other side to it though; where the love interest isn't so much of a crutch, but more of a crucial part of the hero's life. There are a lot of people who will throw out the word 'destined' like it's made of chocolate, but that isn't so much of a bad thing if you don't smash it into people's faces repeatedly like a brick wall. Yes two people can be destined to be together, and it can be awesome, but that doesn't mean anymore than 'they will get together at some point' because frankly destiny is a fickle jerk and you can play with it to your hearts content. Yes the destined couple got together and shared their moments of love and passion, but what happens next week when Gary VonEvilstein summons forth the Doomsday Meteor and Frank needs to choose between saving his destined lover or the lives of all humanity? You can still have people be destined to be together and have drama. It can work, especially if you don't use the fact they're bound by destiny as a desu ex machina, because love doesn't always conquer all, but man can it do some kickass things when someone's motivated.

You also want to make sure not to beat people with a stick about how someone is the love interest. Yes it's fine to show that the main character things the person is attractive, yes it's fine to have them flirt, yes it's fine to have a scene where they kiss, hold hands, or even go to the bedroom or couch or whatever and decide to consummate their relationship. All of these things are fine as long as it doesn't take away from the rest of the story as a whole. I've seen it before where the love story comes out screaming and everything else becomes background, and what that does is it makes it so your reader starts missing very important things that are happening elsewhere. The two characters don't need to be joined at the hip, but also the main character (and realistically the love interest too) need to be able to exist separately from each other. If you have a scene where Frank (we're using him again) needs to go to a secret government debriefing for how to stop Gary VonEvilstein's army of robotic Kill-O-Trons, have him actually focus on the meeting and not on what his lover is making for dinner. Yes he can be concerned for her safety, but don't have him obsess over it.

All in all, the last thing about the romantic sub-plot that you need to remember is that it's supposed to keep the hero grounded and have something that is vaguely normal in their lives. When all of the craziness is happening outside, the romantic side of things is somewhere the hero can go and feel safe, comfortable, and normal. Yes this is why it's always such a big motivation for the villains to take from them, but that's also why it's important for the heroes to protect it. It's important to them because it's what they need to feel 'normal' and a lot of the times the heroes wouldn't be without that thing to hold on to. It's why Superman goes with Lois Lane (New 52 being ignored for a second), or why in my own story Amelia married Enrico. Yes their lives are all extraordinary, but there's the one thing that can make the whole world better, and man is it fantastic.

Thanks everyone for stopping by again today. I'll be back again on Friday with my normal review. I also hope that no matter what your Valentine's Day is nice and that you get chocolate. Not necessarily from a secret love or a non-secret loved one, but because chocolate is awesome and makes everyone happy. Unless you don't like chocolate, then I hope you get your equivalent. Until then, I'll see you all Friday!

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