Jumping Right In: When Characters are Already in Love
Today, I’m glad to be a part of #InstaLove101 hosted by @ANovelIdea. Last year they hosted the fabulous Love Triangles 101, which was a total hit, so they decided to continue this year. I’m so glad because last year I was not able to participate and this year I am. Insta-love is a topic that is fought about the world over–do we hate it, do we love it? Is it realistic? The most challenging part for me has also been defining insta-love (I talk move about it here on my post, Insta-Wha?). It’s a word that’s spat out as being vile, yet the definitions of it are so diverse. Imagine my disdain when someone uttered the word on a review of Walking in the Shadows. That’s impossible, was the thing that immediately came to mind–why? Because at the opening of the book the characters are already in love. Insta-love has always appeared to be a gray area when I read about it in reviews, because there are many times when it’s mentioned when it’s obviously insta-attraction. There’s no problem with insta-attraction, because it’s a part of love. If you weren’t attracted to a person, you wouldn’t be interested in falling in love with them, would you be? This supposed gray area never fell into the area of already in love, though! It seems to me that insta-love becomes a more complex topic day by day, when it used to simply be the unrealistic utterance of the word at day one. Sometimes an author has to jump right in and have the characters already be in love, why? Sometimes it takes ages to fall in love, and even longer to actually admit it to the person and begin a relationship. Therefore, for the sake of not dragging out a story (not to mention the fact that the waiting for years would actually be boring to read) an author may produce characters already in love. I did it in Walking in the Shadows, and oops, I did it again in Flawed Perfection. It’s a planned measure in the outlining of the story, just like planning the falling in love. So why do I like to jump right in? In the case of Flawed Perfection, I would have ended up with a Harry Potter length series that would have followed my characters from Toddlerdom to Adulthood. As you can imagine, it would have taken years to write, and even more time to actually read it, because it would have been SO boring. Jumping right in can actually add to the potential drama, especially when there are obstacles in the characters way to actually getting to a relationship. This addition of drama could be angsty, just like insta-love, if you wanted it to be as well. I’m not a fan of angsty, though–so I’ll skip that. Conversely, there is an issue with jumping right in, and it’s an issue with every single decision a author makes. The readers may just hate it. That’s a risk that every author makes with every calculated decision, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take. So why not just JUMP right in? You may like what you see, but insta-love, it will not be!
What do you think about insta-love, insta-attraction and jumping right in? Twitter it up by using hashtag #instalove101 and don’t forget to call me out at @cgiovanniauthor!