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All You Need Is Love

I've seen lots of advice about love interests recently - probably because there are sooo many of them in YA lit. There are bad boy love interests, and boy next door love interests, and nerdy guy love interests, and sensitive love interests. There are manic pixie dream girls, and the bitchy girl turned nice, the good girl turned bad girl...

And the list goes on.

I like pretty much all love interests in moderation - although I will admit to being tired of the Patches/Edwards/semi-abusive dudes who don't deserve any girl let alone a sweet stupid overly trusting one - but I have one all-encompassing rule when it comes to writing love interests.
Nobody's going to love him/her if you don't love him/her.

That doesn't necessarily mean your LI has to be particularly likable. It's surprisingly common to love someone even if you don't like them. But if you don't get all mushy and gaga and oatmeal-brained for your character, nobody else is going to care.

Okay. So that's out of the way. Rule Numero Uno: fall in love with your love interest. But I'd like to take this rule a step further and say:

Fall in love with every character you write.
Again, this doesn't mean they all have to be likable - this simply means that you have to be invested in their fictional lives. You have to care about who they were before the story, and who they will be after. You have to love all of them as if they are your main characters; because without that love, that deep understanding of their pasts and futures and personalities, the whole story will fall flat.

Save your story. Love your characters.
Kristin Briana Otts

Kristin is an aspiring YA author with an abiding love for her dog, ghost hunter tv shows, and rainy days.

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  1. IM partital to the cluless, unassuming nerdy adorable boy!

  2. Great post with great advice. Loving your characters (and the rest of your story, for that matter) is crucial to your writing.

  3. Excellent advice, though I must beg to differ on the bit about loving all of your characters. Knowing a character really well doesn't mean you love them. In writing a story where the evil are obviously evil, I don't love the evil. I hate them to their cores. I know everything about them, how they tick, but I still curl my lip and shudder whenever I have to put pen to paper.

    That's a very good point on the LI, though. I'll have to keep it in mind, thanks!

  4. Great post. I agree about not having to LOVE every single character you write. It's part of the fun of writing. When it comes to love interests, I don't mind the cliches in them however I have a no-no when it comes to a love triangle. If it's built strongly and both guys have a purpose in the love triangle than I'm all for it.

  5. Love this! I don't know how you could spend months (years!) working on a novel if you DIDN'T love every single person populating it in one way or another.

    The thing with love interests is: If I can genuinely feel the MC's affection for the LI, then I can totally get on-board too, no matter what kind of guy he is. I think that's pretty reflective of the way the author feels about her characters as she's writing them.

  6. "Nobody's going to love him/her if you don't love him/her." So, so true! I have an artist boy side character in one of my books that wears faded braided bracelets...I still feel a pang when a see a guy wearing these.

  7. I love this. That's what pulls me back to certain stories I've read. It's definitely what keeps me committed to my stories.

    Awesome post.


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Item Reviewed: All You Need Is Love Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kristin Briana Otts