I am a hopeless romantic. You may not know it because I come across as rather loud, and forward, and I’ve banned my husband from buying me flowers on Valentine’s Day… Plus I’m a very practical person, and romance is the opposite of practical. But, all of that goes out the window when I see or read a mushy love story; or puppies; or videos of manatees smooshing their noses into glass (but that’s the topic of another post).
I admit freely and with no self consciousness (it is one of the only places in life that I am not self conscious) that I love it when a movie, or tv show or commercial (yes I said it, I sometimes cry at commercials) tug at my romance heart strings. My love of love isn’t judgmental. The plot of a movie can suck if I buy into the love. The setting and characterization can be ridiculous, and the story itself can be endlessly predictable. All of this can be true and I will still happily sob if I believe the love. I enjoy the yearning ache in my heart to be the one kissed by the dashing hero, (after overcoming the odds of course) or the one sacrificing themselves for the good of love. Sigh.
Because of my enjoyment of love, love stories, and crying in front of the tv with a bowl of chocolate almonds and cold diet coke, I’ve decided to put my writing efforts towards a love story. I want the story to make me ache and sigh, and with any luck (and much effort) I will manage to write something that accomplishes this with settings and characterization that are good, but I’m not promising anything. So… after I come back from vacation I will be working on the edits to Riveted, the novel I’m working on with my current partner (totally has love in it) and a short (15k) piece that I eventually hope to submit to Harlequin’s Historical Undone. Wish me luck, and until then enjoy this list of Amazing Love Stories (These are the ones that I can remember right now. Did I leave your favourite off? Please suggest them and I’ll get a box of Kleenex and a diet coke to check them out.)
- Ever After
- The Sound of Music
- PS I love you
- A walk to remember
- A Knight’s Tale
- 50 First Dates
- Beauty and the Beast (the 80s TV Version) – which introduced me to my favorite romantic poet Dylan Thomas.
- The Prince and Me – after watching this film I asked my husband if he was secretly a prince and promised not to get mad if he was. (He said he’s not, but isn’t that just what a secret prince would say?)
- Dr. Quin Medicine Woman
You get the picture.
Romantic love stories come in all types. I used to think unrequited love was the most romantic kind, until I found out that I didn’t really know what the word meant… Now I think it is the second most romantic kind, next to self-sacrificing love…although star-crossed love is pretty good too… Think about your favourite type of love, and challenge yourself write that love into a short story. Begin by placing your character in time and space, because even though love should know no bounds, a love story has to or where the heck do you start? If your having trouble coming up with a setting, I suggest an airport (I love airports they just ooze with options and possibilities.)
Once you have a type of love and a setting, sit quietly with your eyes closed for a few minutes to center yourself. Try not to think about how you are going to write the love story, just clear your mind. Then when you’re clear, open your eyes and write the words “I love you”. Let your story flow from there. Write for ten minutes then stop, clear your mind, and then write “I love you again” continuing your story from that place. Write for another ten minutes.
NB – I am constantly conflicted that I ache to be kissed by the hero when I have already found my own hero (my wonderful husband), but what the hell, being a conflicted mess keeps life interesting.