The only motivator worth mentioning.
As an aspiring romance novelist, most people think our only focus is on meet-cutes with rainbows and unicorns. Ongoing stories of, “Oh my guy doesn’t like me anymore. Therefore, I hate him. Now he loves me again. Yea! [The End].”
Well, I’m here to tell you, that simply isn’t true. Those types of stories can get very taxing to a serial reader like myself. Not just taxing, boring.
As a matter of fact, I tend to be drawn more to mysteries and thrillers. Stories with a sense of danger has always been appealing. If you couldn’t tell from my previous post, I love Halloween. So, of course, some of my favorite go-to-stories have some element of a question needing to be solved, or the thrill of a good cat-and-mouse game, with a heavy dash of “I don’t know if we’re going to make it.”
For example: I’ve been hooked on ABC’s Revenge since the beginning. Now here’s a show that has some serious moments. There’s violence, conspiracy and even some espionage.
I know, I’m broaching television. I was a child of the 90’s which should equate to: grew up on MTV.
Video killed the radio star… Video killed the radio star… Ok, ok. I’m done now.
You may not think of Revenge as a romance, and you would be right. But as you may recall, romance has several subgenres. Some of its most popular subgenres are mystery, thriller, paranormal, historical, contemporary, etc.
Basically come up with any genre and add the suffix “-romance” to it, and you’re golden.
Revenge has a primary focus of drama and suspense. But look more closely, (it’s actually not that difficult, the writers aren’t exactly subtle) and you’ll notice some definite romantic elements which can have a direct-impact to our main plotline.
Representing the classic Love Triangle: Emily, Jack and Daniel.
Now, with Season 2 the writers have introduced Ashley as part of the mix. So now, it’s become a love… square?
Young Love and Coming of Age stores represented by Declan and Charlotte.
Pining for Lost Love with Victoria and the deceased David.
A Thin Line Between Love and Hate: Victoria and Conrad. (Although for most of the show it’s in the latter half of that split.)
Baby Mama Drama with Faux-Manda (Amanda) and Jack.
Wait a tick. That goes with the first one. Are we now at a love pentagon? This is starting to get messy.
And let’s not forget dear Nolan who butters both sides of the bread.
Yeah. Not touching that one with a 40-foot pole.
Ok, I can’t help myself. “That’s what she said.”
Sometimes you may find yourself asking why romance is often thrown into the mix of a non-romantic plotline, or get frustrated when love is on the line. Well, I’ll tell you exactly why romance is important to the plot of any interesting story.
Romance is an important element to any piece of writing. In real life, it can cause one to do amazing things. (Sometimes absolutely horrifying, but nonetheless amazing.) If romance can affect people all over the world, each and every day, how can you not write something without it?
We’re not talking about news articles. But look at the news: In the real world, people commit crimes of passion every day.
How many times have you watched or read something where the antagonist had some root beginning where either they had to sacrifice someone or something they love prior to becoming so antagonist-y? Not necessarily to agree with his/her actions, but at least you empathize with his/her situation. Or perhaps the hero is able to become a semi or full superhero due to either: a) finding out the one they love returns the feeling; b) finding their love interest is in danger and must rescue; or c) their love interest is in danger and hero(ine) must fight attacker back?
Noticing a theme here? Love is a powerful motivator. This is so important, I’ll say (write) it again.
LOVE IS A POWERFUL MOTIVATOR.
Yeah, I used an underline. That’s how serious I am.
For an author, romance can be an important way to develop a character. It gives the author an opportunity to show their characters as human and vulnerable.
A good example of this: Romance brings out sides that soften a tough character.
Hellooo bad boys!
Or bring a little spice to characters who have friction between them.
Think James Bond and… well, basically all Bond girls.
It can even be the reason the events of the story are happening in the first place.
A campy, more recent example: the film Dark Shadows based on the soap opera. The whole basis of that film was a curse between a witch and a man. Because he did not return her love, she cursed the man to being a vampire for the rest of his (eternal) days.
In some cases, even more dangerous than previously believed.
In Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, Shoshanna convinced her love to sacrifice themselves in a mass killing of several high-powered Nazis in revenge of the death of her family and the events occurring during WWII.
Surprise! That’s right! I LOVE action films! One of the things Pilot was very happy to discover about me, I cannot get enough action films. In fact, I’m a huge Quentin Tarantino fan.
So riddle me this: How many stories were truly entertaining without a little touch of the lovin’ stuff in there? Most hero films always have a love interest. You can’t have a coming of age story without some form of young love. Love is a good thing. Romance is a good thing. It’s a topic I’m passionate about in writing and in my real life.
Heck, a major part of my decision to go to CWU was to follow a boy I loved. And, although I did end up falling in love there, it was not with whom I intended (and VERY MUCH for the better). But nonetheless, my main motivation for gambling with my education and future was all because of a boy.
So what about you, Precious Readers? Have you ever made a life decision that was motivated by love or romance? What were some life events that were the direct result of love-motivation, or the result of a failed love? Share some of your experiences here.