Sunday, February 14, 2016

What love is...?

I write romance novels. I tend to write fairly realistic ones, I hope. I don't write the most beautiful people (I try to leave most of it up to the reader's imagination, but part of that is because I'm bad at facial recognition and the details of clothing). No billionaires. No dukes. One Count, so far, which isn't far down the French hierarchy, but he loses everything in the first few pages and realizes his wife and his family are more important than any of it. Most of the rest of the books in the series so far have been younger siblings and the children of younger siblings.

I try to be low key about love and passion. Maybe too low key. I want to emphasize that true love also means working things out when your psychological foibles crash up against your partner's psychological foibles. And if you don't talk about it, be patient, and figure things out, love won't last.

Now, don't mentally shake your head at me. (And authors, stop "mentally" performing actions in your books. So awkward. So overused.) I just mean that maybe love at first sight exists, but that's physical and chemical. It takes time and will to make it work. It takes holding on through separations and arguments. It takes holding on to the idea that the other person is trying, too, even when it feels like s/he hurt you on purpose. It's trust and stubbornness. I'm an old cynic in spite of being married for almost 18 years now. Or maybe that's why I've been married for almost 18 years.

But I write romance novels. So obviously I believe that love works. I try, when I get to the happy ending, to give the characters enough attraction and passion to get started, but enough insight into each other and the will to work out the problems that it seems like they're going to be happy together forever. Or at least sticking together through the hard times and coming out happy on the other side.

One book I'm halfway through writing features some characters from an earlier book in secondary roles. Their adult son (the hero's cousin and one of his best friends), is going through a really horrible time. I'm going to write this as a huge strain on their marriage, though they've been through hard times before in their 22 years together. They're Catholic in the late seventeenth century and would never get divorced.

And though I'm not Catholic and disagree about giving people a hard time about divorce, I can appreciate how religion might force people to keep trying.

And it's the trying that's true love.

No comments:

Post a Comment