Monday, November 23, 2009

Love Can Move Mountains (Or Make them Land On You)

Having a love life can build up your writing life or break it down. Your husband or wife can bring you a surprise gift, or they can insult you without speaking a single word. Your boyfriend or girlfriend can be indifferent one day and affectionate the next. You can be on an emotional rollercoaster, and the stories that you tell could be affected by your love life.

That isn't to say, however, that every writer has to give up his or her love life for better writing. In fact, you need to think of the exact opposite. A love life - or, for that matter, a real life - can only enrich your writing and make it more poignant, more real to you and your readers.

You can actually take advantage of the emotional rollercoaster that you may find yourself in. Boyfriend not paying you any attention? Write about it. For added vindication, construct an imaginary boyfriend who can teach your boyfriend a thing or two about relationships.

Girlfriend sent you a sweet text message that made your day? Write about it. Better yet, send her a sweet text back.

Husband cooked you dinner? Write about it. Make it a happier occasion by writing an actual novel about the struggles that your husband went through to put the dinner together. Feel free to add fight scenes with other cooking-for-their-wives-husbands and negotiations on vegetable prices that end in cursing and shouting.

Wife didn't kiss you goodbye this morning? Write about it. Get some bigger revenge with a short story about how your day still goes well - and even better than any other day - even without the kiss.

A lot of people will tell you to ignore the emotional rollercoaster. Try riding on it - and you may find yourself rich in more plots, more characters, and more stories.

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