WIP Wednesday: Insta-wha?

For this WIP Wednesday I am still working on Let the Fates Decidebut, I’ll be perfectly honest with you, I haven’t written anything for three days. I’ve worked a lot on the really interesting pieces of the novel that I have “seen” thus far, and each is at the middle/end of the novel. So, now I am working on getting the interesting bits for the beginning¬† of the novel. There are a lot of foundations to set in the start of the novel. One, you learn about Meena and her special talents through her growing relationship with Parker and you see how she feels about what she can do. You also get to meet her parents, and on the other side of the spectrum, her arch nemesis from high school and Parker’s ex-girlfriend, Vanna. We will talk about the lovely, deceitful, lying, Vanna another time. She’s a character that you love to hate. Speaking of love, that’s what I want to talk about today. Specifically, I’d like to address what is commonly known as insta-love.

Most young adult readers and authors have heard of insta-love. It’s that heart wrenching, deeply confusing lust that characters often deem to be love. It’s the “I’d jump off a bridge for you” mentality after only knowing a person for oh, say five minutes. Yes, and often the word is actually said after five minutes. It’s 0-60 in 2 seconds sort of love. A love that doesn’t exist.

Then there’s insta-attraction, which does very well exist. I can attest to it personally developing into true love. It’s the “holy crap, that guy is the hottest guy on the face of the planet” mentality. You know why this is fine and insta-love isn’t? It actually happens. Those were my exact thoughts when I first saw a picture of my husband, and I still feel that way today. What’s great about insta-attractions are the several factors: a)you are so intimidated by said man of your “look” dreams that you run as fast in the other direction as you can b)he talks to you! You die inside because he’s talking to you c) you accidentally talk to him because you run into him, fall from bleachers or otherwise are put in his path d)you see another attractive guy and instantly forget him.

Now, I can say A happens a lot. I can say B happened to me. C happens to Meena and D…well, you’re a normal teen then…I guess.

Once the initial heat wears off there has to be something there other than looks to run the romance on, but this stage will start almost immediately after meeting. If the characters don’t really talk and just do…er…other things then chances the romance will continue to love is minimal. There has to be boring, yet interesting ‘get to know you’ conversations. These are what some authors forget and thus create insta-love, either accidentally or on purpose (I don’t pretend to know what others do). Now, here’s the huge thing…the L word, LOVE gets said too quickly and this is where the reader is often lost, or where I get lost as a reader.

For In Between Seasons, Kate doesn’t even realize she is in love with Hunter until someone tells her–that’s when her confusion starts because she doesn’t know if the feelings are returned. This doesn’t occur until about 1/2 through the book, and there’s never an exchange of the word until the very last page.

Walking in the Shadows is completely different because Vera and Tad have been together for several months before the novel starts and are already visibly in love, yet still have not said the word.

Now, where will Let the Fates Decide fall? I’m working on it, but you can be sure I don’t want the word insta-love bantered around. It tends to have a stigma, one that says that the story fell short because the reader couldn’t understand the romance. Slow, but steady wins the race!

So, I’ll leave you with this little snippet:

I stuck my hands deep in my trench coat pockets and took a deep breath as I watched him leaving the gym, his workout bag slung over his shoulders, and his fresh soap scent catching on the sudden wind.

My hair rushed across my face, blocking my view and when it swept the other way Vanna was jumping into his arms. I was too late, why had they shown me that when they knew it already?

It was cruel really. The sickness filled my stomach and crept up into my heart and then into my soul. It felt as though the wind had been knocked out of me, and the tears were instant. I sucked in a deep breath as I held in the sob and turned on my heel. I felt the snap of it against the concrete and felt my body crumbling to the ground.

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