Friday, April 13, 2012

L is for Lurve

I have a dilemma.

But first, a thought. Or a few. Sorry, the picture of Colin Firth is distracting me.

So I'm one of those saps that definitely believes the saying "Every story is a love story." Really though. Think about it. Ultimately, stories are all about a character trying to find love. Romantic love is the big one here, obviously, but we're talking all kinds of love. I mean, just look at what Shakespeare wrote.

I just don't care otherwise. Is that way dramatic and sentimental of me to say? Of course Snape is my favorite character in Harry Potter. Yes I've stopped watching House now that Cuddy/the romantic interest is gone. Yes Niles-and-Daphne is the sole reason I watched all 11 seasons of Frasier. Even with Pixar, where there is basically no romantic love relationships ever (except Carl and Ellie. Guess which Pixar is my favorite) you still have the love of Woody for his boy and Sully for his little girl. Doesn't the look on Sully's face at the end of Monsters, Inc. just make your heart want to burst?

Am I the only one who feels this way? Can you think of examples of when you were drawn into a story and character through something other then love?

Ok, then here's my dilemma. Stories without love don't interest me, so of course I'm not going to write any. I'm not saying all my work would be categorized as 'Romance', but it definitely has it in there. Except I pretty much have no experience. With romantic love in general, I mean. (Unless you count Colin Firth, which for some reason people usually don't). I'm just being open and honest here.

My question for you all, then, is how does one write love stories when one hasn't had one of their own? Has your personal experience with love changed the way you write?

Those are my thoughts for the day. I'd love to hear some of yours.

Oh, and happy Friday the 13th :)

Sarah Allen


  1. I don't know what to tell you since I write from experience. Research? ***shrugs***

  2. I agree that love is a central part of so many compelling stories. I don't think that being in love has necessarily made my writing about love all that different. Sure, it gives you extra inspiration, but I think even without having been in love, you can understand those emotions without having felt them yet. If I am making any sense at all!

  3. Hm, that's quite the question! Love and romance are definitely plots that keep you turning the pages.

  4. Oh yes you always need the lovey dovey stuff. Experience is best, but since with the true love stuff I have umm none, my imagination takes over.

  5. Romantic-love might not be something you've experienced personally, however I believe you've seen it in action in the people around, the stories you've read, the movies you've watched... And sometimes? That longing for romance gives it more depth. You can relate to the character that wants to find love. Or at least, that's how it works for me. I might not have much experience hands-on per say, but I've definitely watched enough, seen enough that I know what compels people to want it and can definitely dream of how my characters would like to find it. And most of all, what they'd do to keep it. :)

  6. I've never written about love, specifically. Well, not as romance anyhow. But there do tend to be strong themes of friendship and family love.

    I don't think you need to have experienced romance to "know it when you see it" or to appreciate it or to write about it.

  7. I think you could write it. I think everyone experiences it. Either through themselves or seeing others go through it.

  8. Most of the romantic stuff I write
    is a mix of experience and idealization, often heavy on the "oh I wish this happened to me" side. I think you can do it! For me, I draw on feelings of love for friends and family when developing the relationship part and then my overactive imagination helps fill in the spicier bits. :) If I could only write about things I've actually experienced, I'd have to stop writing immediately.

  9. "Even with Pixar, where there is basically no romantic love relationships ever (except Carl and Ellie. Guess which Pixar is my favorite)"

    Up, my all-time favorite from the studio, and my letter U post/movie review for the A-Z challenge apparently.

  10. You ask some hard questions there, Sarah. I think having my love with me for all these years makes me a kinder writer, more intuitive in how people will behave. But then, maybe not.

  11. Sarah,
    Even those who have experienced romantic love have a hard time writing about it. So, you aren't alone in your quest to find the right way to weave it into your stories. It is a worthy goal too. I think it is really important to note that romantic love and LOVE are two entirely different animals. Anyway. I always think of true love as an unending interest in being the witness of another's life and romantic love as a sometimes short lived magnetism to another being.

    Another note I had to mention-
    Colin Firth and Alan Rickman both hold a strange fascination for me.

  12. I think you have a lot more experience with love than you think. We all write about a lot of things that we've never experienced directly, but there are always other experiences that we can draw upon and extrapolate that allow us to imagine what it might be like. Here are some ideas.

    1. You may not have had much experience with romatic love, but there are people in your life (family and friends) that you love. Romantic love is different, but not so different that you can't draw upon those experiences.

    2. I'm sure you've had crushes. I think in the beginning stages of romantic love when you are not sure if the person likes you as much as you like him/her is a lot like having a crush. There is a lot of pinning. :)

    3. Reading love stories. Honestly romantic love in books is a little different from romantic love in real life (at least in my experiences). I think romance readers like the book version a little better, so do study those romances that you love and see how the authors made them work.

    Good luck. Like you I love a story with a good romance. :)

    Great post.

  13. You don't have to be a spy to write a spy story - I think the same is true with romance stories.

  14. I think that the word "love" would need to be defined between us before I was able to answer your question. It is the most obscure word that I can think of. If you were to ask 50 people what it meant, you are more than likely to have at least 35 varied responses.

    Now for the part I can answer, my experiences, whether they involve "love" or not change they way I feel, and do just about everything. The only thing that is constant in a learning person is change, and those changes that take place have a tendency to alter perspective, the altering of perspective has a tendency to change the way people interact with the world around them... likely writing is included.

    Nice post!

  15. I've heard that quote that all stories are love stories.
    I think one of the areas I've thought differently is the love between a parent and a child since I started writing. Being a parent changes your entire udnerstanding of that bond.

  16. Tough question. Perhaps you should start with research on that genre. Inform yourself what's already on the market.

    Sometimes you have to look for love, why not write about that?

    Good luck!

  17. I think you'll find love when you least expect it! In the meantime, write about what you would like it to be! Julie

  18. All stories involve relationships and relationships involve love. Not always romantic love however. So I guess every story is somewhat about love....

  19. I prefer the love not to be too romantic (I prefer House alone - I know, but he's wittier that way). I do enjoy love of friendship driving a story.
    Wagging Tales

  20. I like to write alternate outcomes to relationships I've had. No reason you can't write "the way you want it to be," stories.

  21. You guys make me feel better about my lack of experience :) Thanks for the encouragement!


  22. I don't know that it has to be romantic love, even a strong friendship or a meaningful relationship can sell it. See Tuesdays with Morrie. Kind of sappy but it's a pretty clever book.

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy might have a slight side arc with love between Arthur Dent and Trin, but the rest is just plain weird and hilarious.


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