Saturday, December 3, 2011

Where is the love?

I had the good fortune to speak to a room full of women from various book clubs the other day. During the question and answer period, a woman asked me if I ever wrote romance fiction?

“Well,” I answered. “I don’t write romance novels but there is a lot of romance in the books I write. In fact, I think all of my books are love stories in one way or another.”

As I thought about it later, I realized that was true. Not just for my books but for every book I have ever loved. In one way or another they were love stories. And it starts early. For instance, Harry Potter is a love story. Not just Harry and Ginny or Ron and Hermione, but think about the long-lasting love between Dumbledore and Harry that drives the story. Huck Finn is a love story about a runaway slave and a vagabond boy. Black Beauty -- a girl and a horse.

You ever notice in mysteries and thrillers how often the hero’s love interest gets in harm’s way? The suspense is greater if his or her personal feelings are involved. Even the macho, macho man Hemingway wrote beautiful love stories.

Great stories are filled with love lost, love gained, love yearned for. From the ancient Greek myths to today’s sitcoms, love in its infinite permutations seems to be the point of it all. If you really want to engage your readers, let your story (no matter what “kind” of story it is) be a love story.

WIY: Think about a time you were in love. How did you meet? What were the obstacles that had to be overcome? How did you fall? Slowly? This can be any kind of love -- from love for a child to love for God to romantic love. Write about the physical feelings. Write about the moment you knew.

1 comment:

  1. Love can be interpreted in so many ways. Right now I do not have a romantic partner, and I haven't in a whie; however, love surrounds my life. I could write a 100 love stories including people that have passed through my life as friends. Love is such an intricate emotion, I treasure all the people who have come and gone: some for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.