April 18, 2008 at 1:45 pm 23 comments

For the past month the people in my blog community have been discussing how soon is too soon to fall in love (in a book) and their own beliefs. Like, Allie, Marianne, Twice, and Southern Fried Chicas.

I weighed at SFC pointing out characterization, suspension of belief, and how well an author executes the story as to if it works for me. The last one to me is what really sways me.

But I also think it has something else to do with it. Writing is subjective. You may love an author who makes my eye twitch. So this argument can also come down to the readers own beliefs about what love is. An author may think that showering the heroine with gifts or providing the one thing the hero needs is what love truly is. It can also be putting the h/h first. Or it might be all the above, but if the reader believes love is compatibility not only with the h/h, but with the family. Or when the h/h confides the ONE DEEP DARK SECRET that’s true love.

But if the reader thinks all that is hooey no matter if the love story plays out in days or months they will walk away thinking: Pfft, they’ll be divorced within a year.

And that’s why writing is damn hard and why its so damn subjective. And also why writer’s say, “I’m doing this for MY readers.” So for the people that wholeheartedly believe love conquers all are diehard fans of La Nora. So when she has her characters fall in love after the vanquish the Big Bad Guy/Gal the believe the characters ride off into the sunset. Or when Crusie has the hero buy the heroine an air conditioner, or makes the heroine come her brains out because she confessed to her BIG DARK SECRET, her readers walk about believing Phin/Sophia, Agnes/Shane, walk off with their cast of thousands into the sunset.

For me it doesn’t rely soley on the authors execution, or great characterization, but if I, the reader, shares the author’s beliefs.

So, I said all that to say write YOUR story, because your beliefs is what’s going to sway the reader. Writing what’s true to your heart is what’s going to make you the big bucks (when I say big bucks I just may mean splurging at Mc Donald’s. All in the eye of the beholder).

So, I’m going to stop bitching about See Megan Run being the book from hell. Because I had to realize I wrote my true and deep dark beliefs about love. Yeah, I don’t like them because it’s just SO DAMN MUSHY. (who would have thought, ME, a completely and hopeless softy?) But it’s what I believe and I’m still learning on how to accept it. But the first step is admitting it right? So here’s my new dedication:

To the men in my life, listen up this might be the last time I do this in public:

For the man who taught me the meaning of close. Oh, and you can now brag that I am multi-published. For the one who wakes me up at 3 a.m. for yogurt and water. Lastly, for the boy who stole my heart and the man who still has it…my heart breaks and mends at the thought of you.

So what are your beliefs?


Entry filed under: beliefs, DEEP DARK SECRETS, demons, love.


23 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ms Menozzi  |  April 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    I can only say this:

    I don’t think it’s ever too soon to fall in love (in real life or in a book). I fell in love with my hubby before we’d even met in person – after just a few weeks of (almost) daily phone calls.

    I knew I’d marry him the first time I laid eyes on him in person.

    You’d never know that I’m quite cynical, would you? Or that I dislike predictable “happy endings” in stories (even if I’m the one writing ’em)?

    Did any of this make sense? I sure hope so.

    Your closing lines were truly evocative, though – and it sounds as though your story is worthy of being told, too. πŸ˜‰


  • 2. Kayko May  |  April 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Like you said, for me it all depends on the execution and style of the author. I believe in love at first sight, I believe anything can happen.

    The reactions of certain personality types/characters to whatever happens to them is where my beliefs are “tested” – if the author can convince me that this person would react in such a manner (even if it out of character), that’s great, because that is what I need to believe. If they can’t, the book is shot for me.

    Like you said, if the author doesn’t believe in what he or she is writing, then … it is noticeable, and not in a good way. πŸ™‚

  • 3. Amie Stuart  |  April 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    To my everliving shame, I must admit I have romantic tendencies and still believe in HEA’s. I didn’t realize how strong this belief was until I watched Enchanted last weekend

    *hangs head and hands back feminist card*

  • 4. Mel  |  April 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    You’d never know that I’m quite cynical, would you?

    Yes, I can, because I’m also cynical. 9 times out of 10 I expect the worst out of people. I’m always surprised and awed by genuine niceness. Then my thoughts start to stray to the person’s dark side.

    And the last line is actually from the book itself. I felt it was apt in describing how I feel about said man. He’ll probably be surprised by the dedication. It’s a long story…

  • 5. Mel  |  April 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Like you said, if the author doesn’t believe in what he or she is writing, then … it is noticeable, and not in a good way.

    Absolutely and I think that’s what it comes down to, TRUTH. Did the author sell me on the character’s truths. And in order for the author to do it, maybe it’s just in that moment while they are writing the book, they have to believe themselves.

    Books are like writing persuasive(sp?) essays. You have to convince your reader that this is true, and this is right, and that it’s absolutely possible. It’s so much better if the reader can feel how passionate you are in believing that this is real. To me that makes a great author.

  • 6. Mel  |  April 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    hands Amie back her feminist card

    You can keep it, because I think a true feminist is headstrong, and has her own opinion no matter if it’s PC or not. And if you believe in romance no matter what the naysayers preach then I think you are fulfilling that vision.

    Or you can always burn your bra to get back some brownie points.

  • 7. Lauren Murphy  |  April 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    I can believe that love can happen to anyone, anywhere and at anytime! There’s no such thing as loving someone to soon. I fell in love with my first love after what a few days? Then I was with another guy for year and then some and never felt for him the way I did with my first love. It’s not the quantity of time that you spend with the person it’s the quality. It’s all about quality baby!

  • 8. Mel  |  April 18, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    It’s all about quality baby!

    That I can agree with.

  • 9. Morgan St. John  |  April 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    It’s a revelation sometimes, isn’t it? seeing into ourselves and just knowing. πŸ˜€ I feel sorry for those who don’t believe in the HEA but they’d probably hate that and are most likely happy, too. It takes all kinds…

  • 10. Marianne Arkins  |  April 18, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    I imagine it really is all about the execution. I didn’t love “Blood Brothers” (surprisingly… cuz I’m a wicked Nora fangirl) because I didn’t feel the love. Yet, a good friend of mine thought it was one of the best Nora Roberts books yet.

    So, apparently, it’s also about the reader. I got a review for my short story “Now That We’ve Found You” that said they didn’t believe the characters could fall so hard so fast, and then today Charity mentioned that the ending to that particular story is one of her favorites.

    ::scratches head::

    So, when an author says she’s doing something for her readers, which readers is she talking about? Clearly, no two people think alike.

    Still, in the end, it’s obvious from the sales numbers that romance resonates with people and that folks are looking for some sort of HEA — whether it’s a “happy” or a “hopeful”.

    And, that’s what I tried to get across in today’s blog post.

    And, now that I’ve written the equivalent of another post, I’ll shut up.


  • 11. Mel  |  April 18, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    It’s a revelation sometimes, isn’t it? seeing into ourselves and just knowing.

    I think that’s why true love, love at first sight and all those other theories are hard to accept. Humans have to have an explanation for everything. Love can’t be explained. Why or how is a mystery and it’s hard to just say, “well, I don’t know why, but I love them anyway.”

  • 12. Mel  |  April 18, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    I imagine it really is all about the execution. I didn’t love “Blood Brothers” (surprisingly… cuz I’m a wicked Nora fangirl) because I didn’t feel the love.

    I didn’t either. That particular book felt like “this is what my readers expect” I think I would have been fine if she continued on with that particular relationship into the next story and let it develop a little more.

    But I love, love, love High Noon. So yeah with this example I think it falls under poor execution.

  • 13. Robin  |  April 19, 2008 at 2:08 am

    Hi, Mel! Thanks for visiting my site today! I enjoyed reading your blog and totally agree that an author has to write their story. And I think love comes when one least expects it so I’m not sure that’s ever too soon.

  • 14. Mel  |  April 19, 2008 at 2:37 am

    I like finding new blogs to read so no problem. Yeah, love hits you and you can stagger your way through it. Or you can walk away from it. I’m still wating to be hit, again.

  • 15. raine  |  April 19, 2008 at 6:16 am

    Do I believe in HEA, love at first sight, etc., etc?
    Yes, because I’ve seen it happen.
    How likely it is to happen may be another story, or whether I believe in it for myself.
    But I’ve written a paragraph here and there that, upon reading later, surprised me with how heartfelt it was.
    And occasionally I’ll read/watch something that, surprisingly, really affects the ol’ heart.
    (And btw, I’m always a little confused when someone says, “these characters will be divorced in a year”…like, how do you know what holds a relationship together, especially since most romances are beginnings anyway, and isn’t happiness a subjective thing, and why aren’t you just happy that they’re happy NOW, and hell–one of them could be DEAD in a year for that matter, so does it mean you’re going to let their cholesterol level detract from the romance you just read?).
    And sorry I took over your blog, lol!

  • 16. Caryn  |  April 19, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    That is a beautiful dedication. I’m sure they’ll love it.

    As for believing love in a romance, I always think a couple may be doomed if they’ve never actually just been together without guns firing, bombs going off, etc. You know the books where the couple falls in love in the midst of trauma and fear. It always makes me wonder if their romance will last when things aren’t as exciting. When they’re diapering babies and working their regular jobs, and celebrating their three-hundredth anniversary.

  • 17. Susan Macatee  |  April 19, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    I firmly believe in love at first sight. When I first met my husband, I had a feeling about him and after just a few dates, I knew he was the one.

    We’ll be happily married 27 years on May 1st!

  • 18. Mel  |  April 19, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Happy Anniversary!

    Authors talk about suspension of belief, but for the readers who have love at first sight a reality then it doesn’t take much to convince them.

  • 19. LASR Admin - Romance Reviews  |  April 19, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Hey… we reviewed your book today!

    Here’s the link:


  • 20. Mel  |  April 19, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Caryn, how did I miss your comment? Anyway, I think they will be happy to read my dedication. Well, I’ll read it to my son but he’ll get the gist.

    As for when things die down can a romance last? May be another post all together. But yeah, I do wonder if it can last the normalcy of relationships. Situations like that can bring you closer to a person or repel you. I think if an author makes me believe outside of these circumstances they are made for each other than I don’t question it.

  • 21. Mel  |  April 19, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    Raine, you can take over my blog any time.

    And did I hit a sore spot? Lol. The reason why I say that is because the characters just don’t fit. I don’t know how to describe it. Ah, like Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra (sp?) I mean I saw that divorce a mile away. Now if they were still together and it looked like things would last forever then I’d have to say correct me for being wrong. But I have read books where the h/h are like said couple and the author just slapped on a HEA.

  • 22. Edie  |  April 21, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    I believe in love at first sight — but love in a way that all your hormones light up and sing “He’s the one for me.” But don’t run off to Vegas and marry each other. Give it a few months, at least.

    So I’m a catious romantic. lol I do think it has to do a lot with the execution. Some writers are just so darn good they can pull off almost anything.

  • 23. Mel  |  April 21, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Some writers are just so darn good they can pull off almost anything.

    For me that falls under execution. Did they make me the reader believe in this HEA? Then if it’s yes, then I won’t be swayed otherwise.

    And it’s okay to be a cautious romantic.

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