Friday, February 13, 2009

Romance, Romance, where for art thou Romance?

Tip of the Day: In your writing journal (you do have one, don’t you?) have a few pages reserved for places where you write down words you love. You might get a story idea from one or more of these words! And congrats Author2Author - this is our 300th post!!!

I have a confession to make – I was married on Valentine’s Day. Back then (19 wonderful years ago) I loved the idea of being married on the most romantic day of the year. Today, I think it might not have been the smartest move, seeing as how it’s really hard to go out to dinner on our anniversary because every other love-sick couple is wanting to do the same. And if he wants to send me flowers, he has to pay three times what he would have if we’d married in June.

But I digress. My point, I suppose, is that I am a romantic at heart. When I was a teen, even more so. I wanted roses and chocolate from my boyfriend on Valentine’s Day and I wanted diamonds and pearls on my birthday. (I’m not saying that’s what I *got* mind you). But even more than that, I can remember how over-the-moon I would be about the little things a guy would do to show me he cared.

And it’s these little things that really rock a teen’s world. It’s the way he looks at you from across the hallway at school. It’s the way he gently puts his hand on the small of your back to show you he’s there. It’s the way he buys you a balloon at a carnival, but as it slips out of your fingers, he whispers in your ear, "You are my helium" to make the most of the moment, as Jackson did with Ava in I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME.

When I was writing I HEART YOU, I knew I had to take the reader back to some of these tender moments Ava and Jackson shared when he was alive so they could see how much they loved each other and understand why she’d be relieved to have him back in her life, even if it was as a ghost. And what it came down to was putting tenderness and love in the simple things. It wasn’t just showing them going out for dessert. It was showing a tender moment between them as they ate that dessert – him kissing her because she had a little spot of lemon in the corner of her mouth. It’s about creating moments that, as you read, makes your heart flutter at the thought because it’s just so damn sweet.

Of course this begs the question, are there really guys who are that sweet? And my answer would be yes, absolutely. I dated a couple of them. And I married one of them. Of course, the key is to make sure there is balance. A guy can’t be sweet all the time. Make him human - show his dark side once in awhile, too.

But when there is a moment between the guy and the girl, and you want sparks and heart flutters, but mostly you want your reader to route for the couple to get closer, take a moment between them and add a little something special. Not much. Just a touch of tenderness, in his actions or his words. A little goes a long way. And when it’s over, the reader will want to read on because, hopefully, there will be more where that came from!

~Lisa, Miss Crafting a Career


Emily Marshall said...

Great post, Lisa. I agree it's all about the tender, little moments. You are so good at romance, and I think it's adorable you and your husband married on Valentine's Day. Happy early anniversary.

My husband and I married two days before Christmas. At the time it worked logistically getting all the family together. But now we never get to celebrate our anniversary. So I feel your pain.

DeenaML said...

Happy Anniversary!

I remember saving every little scrap of paper that the boy I liked wrote on, no matter what it said. It was like, "Look what he wrote me!" The little things. Yes.

Kate Fall said...

Aw, Lisa, thanks for reminding us to put in those sweet and tender moments alongside the angst and struggle! Happy Anniversary!

Deena, I once had a crush on a boy who sat in front of me in math class. Every once in a while, he'd turn around and scribble something on my notebook, like "Are you drawing cartoons again?" I think I kept that notebook for like five years!

Kristina Springer said...

Happy Anniversary tomorrow!!