[Writing tips] Love is such a small word
“Love is such a small word… if I told you guys that I loved you… it wouldn’t be enough.”
Ange Lowell, Back in the rain
Writing about love in fiction can be really tricky, mostly because it’s such a classic that it can end up being predictable. How to prevent that? This is what I do!“Back in the rain” is a MM mystery book and love is one of the main themes of the story. I worked hard to make it as intricate and raw as possible, doing some introspection and trying to see love for what it is.
The answer I found is that love isn’t just pretty and perfect, and this is what most inspires me when I write about it. To make my character’s relationships more real, I think of all the things people know about love but ignore when talking about it:
Unrequited feelings are painful, but even when the other person loves you back, there will be moments when you feel hurt and disappointed in them. People are different and so are their thoughts and feelings. To go past the disappointment is what makes the relationship grow.
Tip: you created your beautiful characters. It’s time to make them suffer!
Love makes you do ugly things
Jealousy, lies, a little manipulation… come on, who’s always been 100% honest with the person they love?
And if there’s really someone like that, I bet telling their story would be really, really boring.
Tip: your characters can make mistakes, even stupid ones. You have no idea how relatable they’ll become after.
Love is silent
I usually don’t like it when characters fall in love without making the reader feel their love. Sometimes they just declare their love to each other and that’s it; but love, when it’s really there, is silent. It’s shown in small moments, in stares and in silence.
Tip: let actions talk when your characters are together. Not all the time, but make the reader feel the love.
Love is such a small word
Those three words are said probably too much, and often feel to me like they’re not enough. The relationship I created between my main characters in Back in the rain is really deep and controversial, and just reducing it to a simple “I love you” would be demeaning.
So I decided to put those words in the book, but only in the end, after the relationship had been explored already in every possible other way.
Tip: save the “I love you” for a special scene or, if you can, find another way to say it.
These were my writing tips for you! Let me know if you want more and how you describe the relationships between your characters!