I struggled with this recently as I wrote and revised a scene in my novel and attempted to weave the love my characters shared throughout my story. It proved to be a daunting task and, on occasion, agonizingly difficult. Why? Why do we, as authors, find it difficult to write love stories when love is a fundamental drive to almost everything we do as humans?
I asked Ben, who wrote about this in his book, “The Storyteller’s Handbook“, for some tips on the subject.
“You can only write what you believe because audiences sense and get turned off by inauthenticity. If you are familiar with hardship, write hardship into your love story. You don’t have to “write what you know” from personal experience, but you may need to talk to people who have gone through what you want to write. And you will have to believe that this love story is actually possible for your characters.”
“As far as writing for your audience, there are a few things I’ve noticed that modern audiences are not keen on, so I mention the following things in light of trends I’ve seen in audience feedback from various stories.
“Abusive relationships are a no-no. This includes physical and verbal. We live in a world that is waking up to the realization that spousal abuse goes on a lot more than we had thought a few decades ago. Even the threat of violence, even in jest, won’t be accepted by today’s audiences. The days of The Honeymooners are over. If a husband says he’s gonna send his wife to the moon it better be a romantic getaway.
“The same goes for women being physically or verbally abusive toward their men. This goes on in real life too, and it’s equally reprehensible.
“Shutting down their heart is another situation audiences don’t want to see a character get into in order to be in a love relationship. Modern audiences are aware of the need to take care of one’s self, and even if the relationship itself feels right, audiences will feel uncomfortable with the idea that the character has to put their heart aside to do it...” Continue reading on Ben’s blog…
Ben has some insightful advice here! Have you struggled with this topic too? Grab a copy of “The Storyteller’s Handbook“. I keep my copy handy!