Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love Week-- Day 3-- Will it Last?

Thanks for some interesting perspectives on ways to make love real in yesterday's comments. That's one of the big things I love about you guys. *Sniff!* I get to learn every day! As long as I'm, ya know, blogging on topic. *Ahem*.

Anyway, today's topic revolves around enduring love. Depending on your story, the love between your characters could be a short fizzle or a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I think most people tend to write fated lovers, the destined-to-be together couple who were made for each other, so the reader can assume as much at the end of the book. Or, if your story is tragic, you may set your characters up to be this way, then rip them apart. The more perfect they are for each other, the more emotion you'll wrench from your readers.

It's up to you what direction your story takes (duh). While I prefer happy endings personally, I don't think there's a right or wrong between them and tragedy. (Romeo and Juliet is still my favorite love story of all time, interestingly enough). And I can't speak to short fizzles vs. endurance except to say that short fizzles are usually either a character or plot device, on the road to long-term love.

So how do you write love that lasts? This is another one of those ethereal questions that I don't really have a definite answer to. There are so many different ways couples can be compatible that you can't ever guarantee it will resonate with your reader until someone reads it. There's stories where at the end, my reaction has been, "How beautiful!" *sob*, and there are stories where I've snorted to myself and said, "They'll break up in three years/weeks/seconds".

Another consideration too-- and the Princess Diaries series (movies at least, I haven't read the books) are a perfect example of this. If you bother to set up forever love in one book, I will feel cheated when you break that couple up in the sequel.

Of course, there is one possible easy solution to all of this. As long as you end your story on a happy note, with the couple together, your reader will likely assume that they stay that way. After all, what else can they do? That's all the information you've given them. Unless you write a sequel. And break them up in it. (Can you tell I'm bitter, Princess Diaries?! Can you?!)

What, to you, makes love that will go the distance in a story?


  1. The guy in PD2 was so much cuter than the one in PD1.

    I think if the characters are friends first the love will naturally grow and seem more solid and enduring when it comes.

  2. Hmmm... Haven't looked into the Princess Diaries, but I think I'll pass now. True love should last forever, at least in books!

    Unless they die. I'm not opposed to that either.

  3. I can't think of a straight forward answer to that question. Maybe that's why I like saga's - they offer you the opportunity to see how the characters are holding up over time :)

  4. Seems like a sequel should have involved an evil witch breaking them up.

  5. The same things that convince me in a novel are the things that make me expect a relationship will last in real life. That is, people who are good and honest in the first place, creating a healthy, open relationship where they enjoy each other, face challenges as a team and with a sense of humor.

    I admit, I actually don't find a lot of relationships in novels that I find entirely satisfying!