Mar. 13th, 2014

daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
A few weeks ago I checked a book out of the library on writing character emotions. I finally got to skimming it Monday night. The book was organized around many short sections, with each section covering a different emotion. I was feeling ok about my ability to handle character emotions right up to the section on romantic love. "Close your eyes and remember how it felt the first time you fell in love!" the author instructed. "Well, that's not going to work," I thought. I've never fallen in love.

Which is not to say I have never loved anyone. I love my parents, and I have a small handful of friends who are not people-I-hang-out-with but people-who-I-care-deeply-about. I happen to think that friendship-as-love is every bit as important as romantic love, but as this is all that I have going for me I guess my opinion is arguably suspect.

I would have liked to have had some romantic love in my life--it seems like a good thing, in spite of its pitfalls--but this isn't something you can do alone; you need someone to love you. At one point I had looked at some books on how to attract a romantic partner and had to give it up as a lost cause. The project seems to require that I act like someone I'm not, and you don't need a masters in physics to realize that this is not a winning strategy. Sooner or later I would slip up and be me, and then the whole thing would be over.

From this vantage, it makes sense that I couldn't convince my readers that Hideshi and Beniha were having an affair: I've never had one, so how would I know? And it's funnier that the story I have completed features two characters who are, in fact, not in love with each other. I have a project in the works where I do have two characters who are in love, but that's a minor detail in the plot and now that I recognized the problem I can minimize it as much as possible. Play to your strengths, avoid your weaknesses.

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