L is for Love

L is for LoveToday the A to Z Challenge¬†continues! I’ll be posting about one letter/word on every weekday in April. Don’t want the barrage of posts? Sign up for my newsletter and I’ll let you know when I start doing new stuff next month!

L is for Love.

Love(or, I suppose, a lack thereof) is important in all of our lives. There are a great many forms of love: the love we feel for our parents, the love we feel for our other family members, the love we feel for friends, romantic love, and the love we feel for things we’re passionate about. Ideally our lives are full of love from most or all of these sources, though sometimes we struggle to get real love from even one.

Without love, we become lonely and eventually depressed. Some research suggests that loneliness itself can shorten your lifespan and we all know it can make you bitter. When you don’t have truly supportive people in your life it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing you never will.

Because love is at the core of our being, it is also at the core of almost all stories. On the surface a story might be about a civil war, a runaway child or a quest for a magical object, but if you pay attention love is one of the driving forces–if not the driving force–behind most of them. Harry Potter is about a boy who must learn how to use his magic and eventually defeat Voldemort, but the story is largely about the love he feels for his friends and the love his parents felt for him. Hell, the entire reason Harry’s alive is because his parents loved him so much.

If two people really, truly love each other it should be apparent in every scene where they interact. Even when two people are arguing you can often tell whether or not they care about each other. Things like the reason they’re arguing and the way they’re arguing can tip you off.

When you’re writing a story, especially a novel or a series of them, you need to know the relationships your character has with the people they’re going to interact with. Who do they love? Who loves them? Everyone cares about somebody, and those relationships should matter to the story you’re writing. Even if the people your character loves don’t appear directly, your character should think about them, be reminded of them, miss them.

How is love important in the stories you’re reading/working on right now? Let me know in the comments section below!