Hello from Atlanta! I can’t believe it’s been a week since I blogged last – so sorry. I was in Melbourne, FLA for the first annual Deep Thinker’s Retreat. What fun, with a great group of aspiring author. I just fell in love with this group of ladies!
Why? Oh, I’ll tell you –
First, I live in the woods, and when I say woods, I mean tucked into a little hamlet in the snowy tip of northern Minnesota, where ice and snow clasp us in solitude for the better part of four months. Worse, I am an extrovert, so….well you get the picture. I shed my layers going south, met my friend, stood on the beach and shouted out a hallelujah! The retreat Filled that Empty Place….you could say it Completed Me.
Secondly, I got to do what I love – I got to teach about writing craft. Their need to learn brought out the BEST in me.
Lastly, these writers were there because they have a desire to share truth and grace through their stories. Me too. They’re values touched the heart of my Core Values.
For those of you who attended the chat Monday night, well…okay, it wasn’t our best chats. (But….I got my package, so thank you for praying!) But in the point of the chat was to talk about: Why do Fools fall in love.
Let’s take another shot at it.. .Why do people fall in love?
1. They complete each other
2. They make them better people
3. They understand each other.
Two weeks ago, we talked about the 5 elements of a heroic heroine, and we ended with a talk about BEAUTY. A heroic heroine has to be beautiful to the hero.
Taking that apart, we started “with the eye of the beholder” (could be either hero, or heroine) and we looked at their vacancies as well as their strengths.
- What are our beholders vacancies?
Everyone has things they are not good at. Maybe it’s the tendency to speak when you should listen. Maybe it’s being wound so tight you can’t relax. Maybe it’s the inability to commit to something, for fear of it backfiring. Whatever it is, we are often drawn to someone who has a strength in the area where we are weak. I’m hearing Jerry Maguire in my head, “You…complete me.” It’s those opposite, completing qualities that a hero might find attractive (as well as, sometimes, annoying!) My sweet hubby can be brusque and insensitive sometimes. He counts on me to be the gentle one, to clue him into his foibles.
Ask this question: How does your hero and heroine complete each other?
- What are your beholder’s strengths?
My husband is an adventurer. He loves to travel, and discover new things. And he loves the fact that I am a willing participant. Not only that, I hand over my visa and the map and say, “wherever we end up, I trust you.” (This has taken some training over the years!) But I’ve heard him say, “I love the fact that you keep up with me.” Beauty is also found in acceptance, encouragement, and like-mindedness. A man loves a woman who loves the things he loves, and helps him become better at it. My husband loves to travel – and with me by his side, he has someone to join in on his adventures. Not only that, with a heroine, a hero is stronger, wiser, more of a protector, even more sensitive and kind – (building on the above vacancies). How does your heroine make your hero into a better man? (and vice versa?)
But it’s not enough that they complete each other, or make each other into better people. They also have to believe in something together. That means…core values.
3. They Understand each other! Couples who believe in something together – ie, true love, or that God is in control, or even that they will protect their children at all costs – whatever it is, they connect on a core level that bonds them together. In essence – they GET or understand each other.
When you are developing your character, you will naturally discover their core values. Try and find a core value that matches your heroine/hero. Then….make sure you write in a scene that exhibits that core value. (and it especially helps if the other character sees is – but even if they don’t make sure they recognize it!)
Why do fools fall in love? I don’t think we even know ourselves when we are in the middle of it – but when the dust clears, well, hopefully it’s because you complete each other, you’re better together, and you understand each other.
And so do your hero/heroine!
(BTW: It doesn’t just apply to heroes, either. It can be a mother-daughter relationship, or a friend to friend relationship – because we all have vacancies and strengths, and those in our lives either complement them or accentuate them. And of course, the best friendships are based on the sharing of core values).
I’m in Atlanta this weekend, teaching at Chip MacGregor’s Master Seminar: How to Write Bestselling Fiction. It’s…well, sorry, it’s full. BUT… if you’re interested in a crash course in how to write Bestselling Fiction, our next event is in Portland, in April. Check it out!
I’ll be back next week with: External Obstacles – the framework of conflict!
Susie May from Not-So HotLanta!