I’M BACK! Did you miss me? Don’t answer that. LOL
This is just as difficult to write as the emotion itself. It’s the journey of doubt. Does your character really love another? Is it simply infatuation? How do you figure it out? For those of us that have found love we can tell you it wasn’t a cut and dry situation. I had doubts because my heart and self-esteem had been crushed before. I had a lot of fear stepping into new love.
The only love I never questioned is my love for a great cuppa coffee. Our youngest gave me a bag of Dunkin Donut’s coffee beans. So, if you wander over to the magical coffee pot and get a cuppa, it is freshly ground and quite yummy. Nibbles? We have fruit a plenty and some nuts to choose from. Gather your goodies, your copy of Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood and meet us out on the reading rug. OH! Whoever is picking at the threads by the letter X – please, stop. These rugs ain’t cheap. Ya got me? Okay then, onward we go.
Love itself is a struggle. It’s a battle of wills, suffering, and insecurities. Yup, suffering is a true thing when love invades your world. Think about it, in the book Little Women, written by Louisa May Alcott, love was described as a disease. It holds the combination of symptoms that include, being cross and twittery, doesn’t eat, lies awake at night, and mopes around.
When love attacks us, yes, it is an emotional and physical attack, it amplifies EVERYTHING. Music is more important. Locations of dates become special or destroyed forever because of something that happened there. Checking our cellphones constantly for contact from our love interest is life sustaining or crushing.
It’s the merry-go-round of I want to see him, but he needs to ask me, or I love him, but does he love me? He hasn’t said it so I have to wait until he does, or our relationship will crumble, and my life will end because he doesn’t love me… – Welcome to the love addled brain of a woman.
Sorry, I can write from a male perspective, or what I think it would be, but we don’t have word space for all that crazy.
It is so easy to slip into an epic list of cliches while writing love. Writing it can and may well be a struggle. Authentic love is always a journey. It is a mix of emotions that typically conflict, like romanticism, power, jealousy, sorrow, hope, loss, anger, desire, lust, and hatred. Now, when we write this remember to keep your character firmly in the time, place, and emotion. Let it ride out within the scene. Yes, we tend to storm out of a room/location when our feelings go awry but hold your character in that space long enough to convey their feelings.
Close your eyes and think back to the loves of your past. How did you feel when you looked at that person? Was the journey easy? Remember how simply thinking about that person could cause a physical response. How just hearing their name could distract you from what you should be doing. How to write that…
Inner dialogue can go a long way here. How is your character talking to themselves about their possible love interest? Physicality helps too. I’m not jumping to the bedroom, ya pervs. I’m talking about a caress of the arm or hold their hand. I love the tucking their hair behind their ear moment. It’s sweet and sexual all at the same time. Gazing into their eyes – okay, I get it but meh. You can do better. Use the sneak peaks at one another until they catch each other and their eyes lock.
This is tricky to do well but if you visit your own love story it can and will help in writing the wistful moments in your storyline.
Homework: Ain’t there always…
- Write a scene where your character explains how love is complex. To do this, pick three emotions that are attached to their love for another character. (sorrow, guilt, hatred, lust, desire, jealousy, hope, loss, power)
- Example – a character feels sorrow, guilt, and hatred for loving another too soon after the death of their last love.
- Write the same scene without naming the emotion. Show the emotions through actions and words.
- Write a scene that begins with a character hating another and transition that feeling to love. Remember, there is a fine line between love and hate – find the line and cross it.
Please remember that I am not trying to write this book for you word for word. I am skipping a lot of detail. I highly suggest you purchase the book and read between the lines.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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