I find it hard to read a fiction novel that has absolutely no romance. It doesn’t have to be a romance, or even hit me over the head with all the gushy love, but it needs to have at least a sprinkle of it. Most of the novels I read, however, have the two people fall in love because of attraction, loneliness, or something else fairly basic. Now that I am writing an adult fantasy piece, I am trying to create a realistic romance between two characters, even though it won’t be the sole focus of my novel. But this has led me to a rather difficult question, what makes two people fall in love?
If you’ve been on a bad date, or a date that was fine… just fine, you know that there are sometimes major reasons two people don’t get together, and sometimes more minor reasons. Some people don’t connect, even though on paper they should, while others are exact opposites, but somehow they end up together. When I was young and single, I looked at love as something I wanted to have, and thus needed to understand in order to find. Now that I’m married, I understand our love, but that doesn’t mean I understand anyone else’s. Therefore, I’ve come to the conclusion that understanding this emotion is more complicated than it seems.
This fact doesn’t really help me create “love” between my characters though. Instead, I am left constantly pondering why these two should get together, versus any of the other characters. I want to know who they are as people, so that they should “need” the other person to be their other half. Realistically, I want them to be a little different; people who are two similar sometimes get bored with each other. But I don’t want them to be too different, as to the point of constantly fighting. And more than just who they are as people, I want to consider who they would be together, because that seems just as important.
On the other hand, I think sometimes love is pretty simple. Two people get together just because. I’m not sure anyone really needs a complicated reason why these two get together, just as no one needed a complicated reason my husband and I feel in love. It’s just enough that we found each other, and perhaps it’s enough my two characters find each other too. Not sure though, I’ll have to keep sorting through this dilemma.