I haven’t gotten very far on the next love story. I confess it’s frustrating me. How do they meet? Or do they already know each other? What did she do to capture his attention? What does she do that annoys him? How can it take most of the book for them to get together without feeling like I’m dragging it out? You know I have to ask that. If they’re a happy couple in the first chapter, then I have to hit them with some sort of tragedy or awful problem to overcome. That’s not a book I’ll find very uplifting. When I start a book crying or angry, by the time I get to the resolution, I’ll feel only marginally better than before the book made me cry or rant. That’s not very satisfying. Maybe it sounds selfish, but when I write a book I spend a lot more time reading it than anyone else. I want to enjoy it.
I’m not enjoying this project yet because there are just too many options. I have to keep asking myself questions about what I might like. What are some sweet words they might share? What keeps putting them together? How in the world am I going to come up with names for these characters? And most importantly, how do they make each other laugh? I know, I know, “someone who makes me laugh” is a total cliché. But it’s a cliché for a reason. Have you ever known a woman who described her dream man as a prickly sourpuss? “Things were going great until she started to laugh at my jokes,” is something no man has ever said.
Unless I want to plant my main characters on a deserted island – which would be something I’ve never done before – they’re going to have to interact with other people. This means more questions. Do I give them friends they can count on? Family that provides countless opportunities for service? Can I write irritating people who are funny because they aren’t actually in front of me? Can I squeeze in a few drops of the joy of living the gospel without anyone complaining that the book is too preachy? Will a few drops receive complaints that it isn’t preachy enough? (Seriously, I’ve heard both. There’s no pleasing everyone.)
I want to write stories that make people smile, people including me. Love makes me smile. If I can touch on all four loves, I hope it will be a truly uplifting read. Speaking of uplifting and laughable segues, Everything Old is featured on 1531Entertainment today. The site is compiling options for uplifting entertainment. Options that are in this case a good thing. Because not everyone finds the same thing encouraging or uplifting. Is a happily ever after a must for you or will a bittersweet ending still tug at your heart? Do you prefer first love or second chance? Does a sappy romance kind of make you want to gag? Is a thrilling adventure better for propping up your weary soul?
What is it that makes you smile? If it isn’t my books, maybe you can find something there that works for you. But if it is my book, that’s okay, too. You might need to look for something to read while I’m trying to get my act together on the next one.