So, the last two books I've written, I have two main characters, a male and a female. Of course, by the end of both books, they are thoroughly smitten with each other, and love conquers all, right?
I grew up a hopeless romantic, devouring books with a warm, fuzzy, happily-ever-after ending, and enjoying the squishy feeling in my stomach that they left behind.
But that doesn't mean that I enjoy writing about it.
I guess I grew up with enough of a sense of modesty/decency/sense-of-fitness that when I write a romantic scene between two people, I feel a bit like I'm committing a flagrant breakage of the common law of PDA (Public Displays of Affection). You don't stand out on a sidewalk in a big city and spend copious amounts of time in a lip-lock (though goodness knows, I've seen my share of people doing just that). The affection of my main characters is natural and God-given, but the war in my mind over how they should keep their embraces private when hundreds of people are reading about their kisses is hard to resolve.
I feel like I should stick something in here to say that I don't write erotica, nor will I ever. But I do think that the love of a man for a woman and vice-versa is at the top (or near the top) of the totem pole for what most humans will feel at some point in their lives, and this needs to be included in many stories (not all).
But then it comes back to the point. I'm embarrassed, because I myself would not kiss my husband in front of hundreds of viewers, each one analyzing just how it's done. It's at this point where I must step outside myself and write from the perspective of my character. What does he or she think? How does he or she feel? How can I translate those feelings to the reader without making the reader think about the author and how the author feels?
How can I write about this thing called Love? It's so all-encompassing, isn't it? Love isn't just kissing, sex and physical attraction, is it?
Love is family.
Love is best friends.
Love is discipline.
Love is understanding.
Love is sacrifice.
My next book coming out will have two people in love with each other, and yes, there will be some kissing. But I hope that behind the outward expression of intimacy, real love blazes through the words on the page. Understanding and sacrifice, patience and give-and-take. Equality. Grace. Healing.